Milwaukee Detective Captain Retirement Badge
Once in a while something interesting shows up on eBay. The seller listed this badge as brass but the scan looked like good gold. There was good honest wallet wear on the high points like the eagles neck but no brass or bronze was exposed. The back looks like it was only gold washed with only traces of the gold color remaining. At about 5 o’clock is the maker and fineness mark, “ESCO 1/20 10K” which along with the gold color front and edges plus the brown back tells us that this badge is gold face. When viewing the badge from the back a thin gold layer can actually be seen by the naked eye along the rim. The construction of this badge makes it even more interesting. The eagle top shield base is one piece upon which the three center panels are mounted without rivets (common for Milwaukee retirement badges). The badge is inscribed John Lavin / APT: 7-8-40 / RET: 7-4-68”. Captain Lavin must have had an interesting career. He started as a night shift Patrolman in 1940. In 1942 he joined the Vice Squad and then entered the military until late 1945. He returned to the Vice Squad in 1945 and was assigned to the Detective Bureau in 1947. In 1950 he was promoted to Detective and then to Detective Sergeant in 1954 and served on the Special Assignment Squad until his promotion to Captain in 1962. This promotion placed him in charge of the Special Assignment Squad until his retirement in 1968. I can only guess as to what kinds of cases ended up as special assignments, but I would guess that he was ready to retire when the time came.