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LAPD medals
grimorie wrote in little_details

Does anyone know what the medal below her badge stands for? Dani Reese (the character) is a Homicide detective for the LAPD but before that she was an undercover cop and apparently, according to the NBC website, she was very good at being an undercover cop . So, I wondered if Reese's medal was for something specific? The only other cop I saw wearing something similar is her Lieutenant.

I've tried searching on wiki and google both yielded nothing.

Thanks in advance!

From Wikipedia:

I then jumped to the LAPD site and searched on awards:

Nothing like your award shown.

It looks a lot like the military marksmanship badges, but gold not silver.

Thanks for this! I've looked around again it does look a bit like a military badge but looking through the LAPD site I realized some cops wore similar medallions too.

LAPD medal


2009-03-18 01:09 pm (UTC)

The gold medal is issued to each officer based upon his/her skills on the target range. There are 4 levels one can aspire towards. This medal is called a "shoot badge".

Could it be something AA-related, since her Lieutenant is her AA sponsor or support person, or whatever the phrase is?

I thought that too but when I looked around the LAPD site and did a image search in google I saw some officers wear the same medal as Reese and the Lt.

From the placement on the pocket, it's either a marksmanship pin (most likely rifle, if I'm seeing crossed arms, there - it's very difficult to see) or a special unit pin - SWAT, probably.

I can ask my ex, but I know the designs vary wildly from dept to dept. It does look a lot like his sharpshooter pin, though.

It's really hard to get a good look I've tried to cap it several ways.

It does look a lot like his sharpshooter pin, though.

Sharpshooter pin, huh? That's certainly interesting. Thanks!

From the LAPD police manual:

"637.20 AUTHORIZED DEPARTMENT RIBBONS. Department-issued ribbons authorized for wear with the Department uniform in descending order of precedence are:


Medal of Valor.

Police Distinguished Service Medal.

Police Commission Unit Citation.

Police Medal.

Police Meritorious Service Medal.

Police Meritorious Achievement Medal.

Police Meritorious Unit Citation.

Police Star.

Lifesaving Medal.

Police Commission Distinguished Service Medal.

Police Commission Integrity Medal.

Community Policing Medal.

Human Relations Medal.

Reserve Officer Service Ribbon


Single. If only one medal is to be worn, it shall be worn on the extreme right of the top seam of the left breast pocket flap."

It does not appear that LAPD has marksmanship badges, therefore, it is most likely a Police Medal, since the Medal Of Honor would be worn elsewhere on the uniform. I couldn't find any images of the medals themselves, though.

therefore, it is most likely a Police Medal

Again, thanks. I didn't know there were placements for medals. I just thought... well anyway thanks again!

You're welcome. Incidently, to check accuracy...she's wearing a mourning band. They can only wear those until the day of the funeral (though, I think they wore them longer after 9-11)...did someone die in this episode? If not, she may not be wearing a real medal anyway.

They can only wear those until the day of the funeral

*nods* It's why she's in uniform, a retired detective died and most of the department are on their way to his funeral.

It is the LAPD Expert Firearms Qualification badge.

its a shooting medal. LAPD has 4 shooting medals marksman,sharpshooter,expert, and distinguished expert

That's what I initially thought, since it looks very much like the one I am most familiar with, which was my ex's sharpshooter medal. (Our department has only three designations, and my resident lawman is now expert across the board...) But I didn't see shooting medals listed.

Shootin Medal


2008-06-04 11:55 pm (UTC)

The Los Angeles Police Department has 4 medals that officers can qualify for. The highest is the Distinguished Expert. Next is Expert. After that comes Sharpshooter (currently pronounced Sha'p shoot'a). And the lowest is Marksman.

DX (Distinguished Expert) is very recognizable. It has two "ladder type" horizontal bars above the circular portion. On the circular portion are crossed revolvers. Also the top horizontal bar is silver with the rest of the medal in gold. Top horizontal bar reads "Distinguished", the lower one reads "Expert".

It looks like the one in the picture is gold, so I am going to say it is an Expert medal. If it is, then the top horizontal bar should read "Expert". All medals have the crossed revolvers.

I suppose the medals follow the Olympic medals in color with Gold, Silver and Bronze from highest to lowest award.

Sometimes the Marksmanship medal which is bronze in color can be shined up to look like an Expert medal. It will still read "Marksman" on the top bar though.

LAPD went to issuing semiautomatic handguns in about 1988 I believe, the medals still show revolvers. An officer can qualify to carry their handgun without earning any medal. The medals are awarded only when the officer shoots the "Bonus Course". Officers must supply a portion of their own ammunition to shoot the Bonus Course because it requires 10 extra rounds. No medals are awarded for the "Combat Course". Many officers do not wear their medals for various reasons.

Thanks for the info, this has been nagging me for a while now.

Re: Shootin Medal


2008-06-09 01:25 am (UTC)

Yes, the post above is correct in that the medal on her uniform is a shooting medal. The one she is wearing is too "gold" to be a shined-up Marksman medal, which means that it is an Expert medal. To earn that medal, an officer has to shoot 380/400 on the bonus course. (The other course which does not count toward medals is the combat course. All officers have to qualify several times a year and can choose to shoot either course.) Officers are paid extra (albeit not much) each month for qualifying for one of the medals. The Sharpshooter medal requires a score of at least 340/400 and the Marksman medal a score of 300/400. Once an officer shoots a medal-qualifying score, it is good for a year. To wear the Distinguished Expert medal, an officer must qualify on the bonus course each month for six consecutive months and shoot an average of not less than 385/400. The other medals only require one qualification shoot. By the way, the other awards listed further above are worn as ribbons (like you see on most military uniforms) below the badge if the officer has earned them. Most officers only wear those ribbons on their Class A uniforms (long sleeve). This may be more than you wanted to know, but now you know.

Thanks, and you know more info about this thing? Not a bad thing. Thanks a lot.

Hers looks even more golden than this one and here you can already read the Expert clearly in the detail version in the corner.

And thanks to your question and the detailed answers you got, I also no longer have to search for the details of what exactly it means and where the differences between the various shooting medals are.

gold medal under badge


2008-06-16 10:16 pm (UTC)

The gold-colored medal is an LAPD "Expert" shooting medal which is attained during a bonus-shoot qualification session at the LAPD Elysian Park academy. It qualifies the officer to received a stipend of 16 dollars bi-weekly added to his/her paystub. You must attain a score of 380 points out of 400 possible (40 rounds). A score of 385 for six successive months qualifies you to received a "Distinguished Expert" medal, which is an Expert medal hanging below a silver-colored attachment that says, "Distinguished Expert", or as is known among LAPD personnel as a "DX".

Re: gold medal under badge


2008-06-30 06:59 am (UTC)

OK guys that is enough. Stop giving away all of our high-security important secrets at the LAPD, and don't wear a DX medal unless you are currently getting paid for it. Shooting is a perishable skill. Be safe out there.

It is the LAPD Expert Marksman pin.

Re: Pin


2009-03-17 06:46 am (UTC)


Re: Pin


2009-03-17 06:51 am (UTC)

Never heard of an expert marksman in LAPD. There is only marksman, sharp shooter, expert, or distinguished expert. Sounds like the mixing of two different bonus qualification standards. Maybe one day I could be a distinguished sharp shooter expert. It is a medal, not a pin.



2009-01-06 02:38 am (UTC)

Thats an LAPD shooting medal. When your in the academy, they take you up to the bonus range and you shoot for your medal before graduation. Her medal is either a marksman or expert, both look gold in color. If it were a "DX" or distinguished expert, it would have 2 rows up top. Mine was a sharpshooter medal, which is silver. Hope that helps.

police medal


2009-03-14 02:57 am (UTC)

It is one of four shooting medals that LAPD has. This one is an Expert medal. IF THERE IS AN ADDITIONAL BAR ABOVE IT IT MEANS DISTINGUISHED EXPERT. if the medal is silver is is sharpshooter. if bronze it means marksman.

It's a shooting medal


2009-04-02 02:56 pm (UTC)

I'm retired LAPD.....That medal is a shooting medal, given to officers when they achieve a high score on the Bonus (shooting) Range. There are 4 shooting medals in the LAPD and the higher you get, the more bonus money you get. The order is "DX"- Distinguished Expert. You get it when you shoot 385 or higher for 6 months in a row. Then Expert (gold), then Sharpshooter (silver) and lastly Marksman (bronze.) It's hard to tell, but because it's TV they probably gave her an Expert Medal. Any officer can receive a shooting medal, and normally you shoot for it while in the academy, so you can wear it for graduation. But every Friday at Elysian Park, there is a line of coppers waiting to shoot for the bonus money. You must have at least a Sharpshooter Medal to get into Metro Division, so lots of wannabe's goto shoot. Hope that helps.

Re: It's a shooting medal


2010-05-11 01:16 pm (UTC)

I'm also retired LAPD and a former firearms instructor at the LAPD Academy. The gold badge on the young lady's chest below her police badge is for marksmanship during a Friday Bonus Shoot. As previously stated there are four levels of marksmanship, the Distinguished Expert being the highest. A gold marksmanship badge would be Expert. The highest score anyone can shoot is a perfect 400, and the list of names for that accomplishment is very minimal. A small handful of "dingers" have fired 400 more than once; I have 27 perfect 400s under my belt, but there are a few other shooters -- very good shooters -- who actually have more 400s than that. Those of us who shoot for perfect scores don't do it for the extra money; it's a pride thing because it's so hard to achieve, and it does tend to put a little more glide in your stride when you’re out on patrol.

one more thing


2009-04-02 02:59 pm (UTC)

Also, this is the correct order to wear LAPD medals.

-Los Angeles Police Medal of Valor
-Police Commission Distinguished Service Medal
-Police Distinguished Service Medal
-Police Commission Integrity Medal
-Police Commission Unit Citation
-Los Angeles Police Medal
-Los Angeles Police Star
-Police Meritorious Service Medal
-Police Meritorious Achievement Medal
-Police Meritorious Unit Citation
-Police Lifesaving Medal
-Community Policing Medal
-Human Relations Medal
-Reserve Police Officer Service Ribbon



2009-09-07 03:50 am (UTC)

It's a shooting medal. It appears to be an Expert (gold colored), Silver is for Sharpshooter and bronze for Marksman. It is obtained for shooting a qualification score on the bonus range with a pistol or revolver.

It is an expert shooting medal !

here is a picture of it.
please visit my lapd page ;-)



2010-10-19 11:44 pm (UTC)

The medal she is wearing is for SHARPSHOOTING... It is similar to military, but some changes for the medal. Hope this helps.

That's too easy


2010-11-07 04:06 am (UTC)

She's wearing the LAPD "Expert" badge which means she shot a 380 out of the perfect 400 once in the past year. Now the next (and highest) shooter badge is called "Distinguished Expert" (aka "DX"). To get that, she has to shoot a higher score 6 months in a row and update that badge yearly.

"DX" Shooter

Here is the metal u r looking at

It is a shooting proficiency pin. Gold is for a score of 380-400 out of 400 at last qualification. The top bar reads "Expert" and the lower medallion is of crossed pistols.

It is a shooting medal, she qualified as an expert which is the second best you can receive.

Her uniform shirt is too big. Looks like she is wearing her big brother's shirt.

Not many female experts on the job. Shooting is dirty and guns make noise. Plus you might get sweaty standing in the sun for 15 minutes while you shoot the course. I guess women don't like to multi-task. You know, sight picture, trigger control, and such. Just too complicated I guess. But I like the paycheck and medical benefits. Wish I could find a man to marry, but I took his job. I hope I get my nepotism promotion soon. Bye bye now.

It's a Pistol Expert medal

Marksmanship Basge


2014-10-28 03:07 am (UTC)

The medal under her badge is a Expert Marksmanship Medal. Every officer on LAPD gets the opportunity to shoot for a Marksmanship medal once a year. There are three categories of qualification. If you meet the basic standard of quarterly qualification you just meet the standard of the department. The next badge / Medal is Sharp Shooter, it is Silver in color, the third is the Gold badge / Medal, that is the Exert. The third is the highest honor of all, it is basically the same as the Expert, it is also Gold in color and looks exactly the same as the Expert Medal but it all hangs from another bar above the Expert bar and has Distiguished printed on it. All the medals come with a bonus pay attached (a little extra on your pay check, as long as you qualify for that medal. Only the Sharpshooter, Expert and Distiguished Expert get that extra pay.