2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Misused medals worn by Zimmerman trial cops miff local veteran

Published: July 3, 2013, 1:07 pm, by Tom Roeder

Doris SingletonA Florida police department is apologizing for misuse of military medals after its officers were caught on tape during the George Zimmerman trail wearing some obscure honors.

Eagle-eyed veterans watching a televised Florida’s Zimmerman murder trial are crying foul over the Sanford Police Department’s use of old ribbons to represent achievements in the agency. They weren’t wearing medals for valor, but instead adopted some other medals to represent departmental work. Among the medals used: The Philippine Independence Medal and and the Army of Occupation Medal, given to troops who served in the wake of World War II.Neighborhood Watch_Roed2

You can see a story on it here: http://guardianofvalor.com/marine-watching-zimmerman-trial-catches-officer-wearing-ribbon-reserved-for-wwii-vets/

One of the medal-spotters was Colorado Springs Air Force veteran David R. Perl, who fired off an email to the Florida cops telling them to knock it off.

“Their wear and display on police department uniforms should not be taken lightly. It is disrespectful, dishonest, and an insult to those of us who have served and have earned the right to wear these emblems of honor,” Perl wrote in an email he forwarded to The Gazette.

Mission accomplished.

“The purchase of new ribbons and the reconfiguring of the commendation/awards system began yesterday,” Sanford police chief Cecil Smith wrote in an email to the veterans who objected. “The new design and selection will fit the needs of the Sanford Police Department. I would ask that you share the above information with others.”

Smith said the police meant no offense with their use of the medals.

“Please accept my sincere apologies for any confusion on behalf of the Sanford Police Department,” he wrote.