“Badges? We ain’t got no… stinking badges!” I bet you’ve heard that before. I remember a high school friend saying it to himself almost every time we saw a Police Officer. According to Wikipedia it is one of the most frequently quoted and misquoted movie lines. It originated in a Humphrey Bogart movie that was released in 1948; but for the few that could actually place this quote would remember it from Blazing Saddles, a 1970’s Mel Brooks flick.For Private Investigators in Los Angeles and around the country it has been quite a topic for some time. “Should Private Investigators have or be allowed to have badges to identify themselves?” Although allot of Private Investigators originate from a Law Enforcement background where they had previously earned the right to carry a badge, my unofficial survey finds that the most vocal advocates for the right to carry a badge here in the State of California are those who have no sworn law enforcement experience. They tend to be the Investigators who provide support for Criminal Defense Attorneys and are often working on cases in direct opposition of Police and other Law Enforcement Investigators.For someone like me, with direct Law Enforcement training and having served as a Police Detective working everything from narcotics to homicides I have seen the power of the badge. It is definitely something that should be earned with more than just three years of arresting shoplifters at your local supermarket, which by the way is sufficient experience to obtain a Private Investigators license in California. However, California has a strict law prohibiting Private Detectives from carrying and utilizing badges. There are states such as Florida who actually issue the badge to the Investigator upon licensing. Investigators in California more specifically the Los Angeles area have been heard arguing that having a badge would make it easier for them to obtain information from witnesses and having people, in general cooperate. I on the other hand am in belief that for this to be accurate the Investigator merely intends to “flash the badge” and not identify themselves as a Private Investigator and quietly hoping that the person they have made contact with implies that the Investigator is “law enforcement” and may get more cooperation. There are others in the realm of Private Detectives that say the need to use a badge is a tool for the truly unskilled Investigator and that ability to gain information and further a case should be a complete result of the Investigators investigative techniques, experience, and the usual luck. Not handicapped by the use of badges.