MUPD patch board sentimental to local law enforcement


Sarah Ingram

Marshall University Police Department’s patch board currently consists of 43 individual patches. Each patch is either currently or was at one point worn by an MUPD officer.

The Marshall University Police Department’s “patch board” represents unique moments to bring law enforcement together.
The patch board consists of different police patches currently or previously worn by MUPD officers, but there are also patches from different parts of the country, all with special meanings.
With 43 patches on the board so far, the collection is continuing to grow. Sgt. Scott Ballou is the man behind the idea and said that his main goal was to fill the board up completely with patches, and Ballou said he still has some more in his desk to put up.
The patches have come from a variety of schools and departments across not only the United States, but places such as Canada as well.
A few of the patches on the board have traveled from West Virginia University, Clemson University, Winthrop, the University of Charleston, Miami-Dade County in Florida and Toronto, Canada.
Ballou said the department wants to put patches on the board that have significance. He explained that the patches can be from previous officers’ hometowns, friends of officers, family members, training, police academies and even officers who have left the department.
“We’re not just throwing any patch up there,” Ballou said. “We want patches that are relevant to our university.”
The department wants to create a whole row dedicated to the conference Marshall belongs to, the Conference USA, according to Ballou. The board added its first patch when Marshall’s football team played Western Kentucky University.
Ballou also received a patch when Marshall played Louisiana Tech at the Memorial game. Marshall’s football team will travel to play Charlotte Saturday, and Ballou said he is going to receive a patch from their university’s police department.
There is a Horry County, South Carolina patch that Ballou said explained the idea of the board.
“The retired officer (from Horry County), his son plays baseball here,” Ballou said. “So, his dad brought me that because he knows how important it is to get to know other agencies.”
Among the other patches is one from the U.S. Capitol Police, one which Ballou said he’ll never forget.
“I was working a basketball game and one of the referees for the basketball game was a U.S. Capitol Police Officer,” Ballou said. “My detail for the game was that I was assigned to the officials, and when he came here, he brought a patch and gave it to me.”
Ballou credited the Office of Disability Services for donating the board to his department. He also noted that the board’s fabric was donated from Marshall’s upholstery shop.

Robert Castillo can be contacted at [email protected].