Bay Area public safety agencies can buy commemorative Super Bowl 50 badges. SF's Fire Chief says no. pic.twitter.com/lF3QY36zu6— carolyn tyler (@ctylerabc7) January 6, 2016
Santa Clara Police Department Ofc. Rob Paolinetti was seen sporting a new accessory. Instead of his department issued badge, he wears a special one with the Super Bowl 50 logo offered by the NFL to agencies involved in keeping the big game safe. "For all the hard work our employees have put in for the Super Bowl, it's a way to reward employees," he said.
The officers pay for them, each costing $124.99. Santa Clara is just one of more than 20 public safety agencies, including the CHP where 1,800 officers are snapping up these keepsakes.
However, the San Francisco Fire Department is not. Firefighters can't buy the badges on their own because the fire chief has opted out for the department.
The union president said the rank and file are furious. "This is an important moment in San Francisco history and they really wanted that badge as a keepsake and to be kept out of it against their will is a slap in the face," San Francisco Firefighter's Association spokesperson Tom O'Connor said.
A published report said the chief cited domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday as one reason to decline the badges. She told ABC7 News that's not true and that it's about what's appropriate. "This badge when you take your oath, it means a lot and to have a sporting event, it doesn't rise to that level for me and for a lot of others actually," San Francisco Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White said.
Get the latest on Super Bowl 50 here