GUYTON — Chief James Breletic of the Guyton Police Department is going back to the future.
Breletic plans to return a replica of the original shoulder patch Guyton officers wore to a place of prominence inside police headquarters. The piece designed in 2006 by Randy Alexander, the department’s initial chief, will soon hang on a freshly painted wall at the front of the building.
“It was already here but it wasn’t in the public’s eye,” Breletic said. “Returning it to the lobby is out of respect for the people who designed it.”
Alexander, currently an Effingham County Sheriff’s Office deputy, enlisted the skills of Scott Robider to construct the blue, yellow and red emblem that is protected by a sheet of glass. Robider, now a Garden City code enforcement officer, is a former operator of Red Dot Uniforms.
“(Robider) was so happy to help us with everything,” Alexander said. “He was a good guy.”
When the Guyton Police Department debuted, Alexander’s emblem was the first thing visitors saw upon entering its building. At some point after Alexander’s departure nine years later, however, it was relegated to a storage area.
“It was always hung up right there where people could see it,” said Alexander, a 25-year law enforcement veteran who also served a stint as chief of the Pembroke Police Department. “I can’t tell you how many patches I looked at before coming up with it. I liked the colors and no one around had anything like it.
“I wanted something different from everybody else’s.”
The shoulder patch Guyton Police Department officers currently wear is outdated. It reflects a period when they were included in the defunct Department of Public Safety and the police chief headed the Guyton Fire Department, which no longer exists
“We are going to redesign (the shoulder patch) but I want to use (the replica of the original) in the lobby out of respect for the past,” Breletic said.
Breletic and Guyton officers will continue wear badges that are true to the department’s originals.
“Out of respect to (Alexander), I’m not going to change that,” Breletic said. “I want to give credit where credit is due. I like to take what’s here and tweak.