Friday, June 22, 2012
Reno 911 Badge, Original Movie Prop
While cruising eBay a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across an amazing little piece of television law enforcement history............. An original badge used in the Comedy Central television show RENO 911. RENO 911 was an improvisational comedy show that ran from 2003 to 2009 on the Comedy Central Network. The show was filmed with hand-held cameras in a documentary style that mirrored the old COPS reality TV show.
I found the badge listed in the wrong category (Men's Clothing Accessories), and I picked it up at a price that put a very big smile on my face! I exchanged a few email messages with the Seller and he said that he had picked up several of the badges that had actually been used on the set during the filming of the TV series....... he skirted around the question of how he obtained them, but none-the-less, he did, and now I have one!
After searching the internet for photo stills from the show, and inspecting them closely, It appears that the badge I have matches the badges worn by the TV actors perfectly! Comedy Central sells a souvenir badge that looks the same, but has the Comedy Central logo in the center instead of the state seal used in the actual TV show. As far as I can tell, there are no commercial sources for a reproduction badge like the one I now have.
The actual RENO 911 badge is very unique in that it looks like a real department badge, but it is actually a conglomeration of bits and pieces of various department badges that do not correctly fit together....... First off, the actual sheriff's department with jurisdiction in Reno, Nevada is the Washoe County Sheriff's Department. There is also a Reno, Nevada Police Department.......... the logo on the badge is a mix of the two.
The state seal in the center of the badge is not from Nevada. It is actually the California state seal. The show was filmed in Los Angeles County, California, and parts of Oregon, with some opening shots in Reno, Nevada. This may be why the badge has the California state seal on it................ The Los Angeles County Sheriff's office in Carson, California was used as the set for the TV show's department office.
My RENO 911 badge has a very interesting marking on the back......... it is engraved with " MOVIE PROP ". I don't think that a replica or novelty badge would have this marking. In fact, I have never seen this marking on any of the replica TV and movie badges that can be commercially bought.
This RENO 911 badge is heavy and finely finished, exactly like a "real badge". It is definitely not a cheap novelty knock-off! Here a few more shots of the badge:
Now let's finish up with a look at a few photos of the RENO 911 television actor-officers: