Note: This is an encore post from 2006.
Oct. 22, 1907
A trolley conductor at 4th Street and Hill complained to a patrolman that one of the passengers looked like a holdup man. The officer investigated and laughed when the man produced a deputy’s badge and claimed that he was Mayor Harper’s son, Oscar.
The skeptical police officer took the alleged deputy to the central station, where the officer, identified only as “No. 303,” discovered that the young man was indeed the mayor’s son.
No. 303 apologized, exclaiming: “But I thought real deputy sheriff’s stars had numbers on them!”
Bonus fact: Some historic Los Angeles County deputies’ badges (link rot strikes again!) had numbers and some didn’t.