The Rochester Police Department patch was designed by members of the Department in 1991. It is used on the sleeves of all uniform shirts, jackets, sweaters, and winter coats.
The patch design consists of the Village of Rochester’s Coat of Arms.
Heraldic research found that the shield design for the name of Rochester was indicated by the use of a “chief” shield. This is a shield that has the top 1/3 of the shield separated from the rest of the shield by a single horizontal line.
The name Rochester refers to a “fortified bridge”, from the Old English word “hrof” meaning roof or bridge and the Latin word “castra” meaning a fortified military camp. The original City of Rochester, England was called Hrofoecoestre. Located in the top 1/3 of the shield is a stone (fortified) bridge symbolizing the Old English meaning of the name Rochester.
Heraldic tradition dictates that the lower 2/3 of the Rochester shield be divided into quadrants by the use of the Cross of St. George. The traditional colors for the Rochester name are red and gold (yellow). The Village of Rochester shield displays a red Cross of St. George on a gold (yellow) background.
Rochester was originally settled around 1819. The area was noted for its rich farm land and the enormous sugar maple groves of the San-gam-ma (Sangamon River). The quadrants of the Rochester shield are symbolic of the reasons this region was settled almost 200 years ago – that being the green sugar maple leaf and the brown shocks of harvested corn.
Located within the Coat of Arms, is the helmet which sits on top of the shield. Attached to the helmet is the mantle, which is a cloth that was traditionally attached to the helmet for protection during battle. The Rules of Heraldry require that the Rochester mantle is to be lined in gold (yellow) and that the outer color of the mantle is to be red, the primary color of the Rochester Coat of Arms.
Located above the helmet is the crest. The Village crest is referred to as a “Sun in its Splendor”. It is used in heraldic designs to symbolize an ideal place to live, one of great energy and dynamic development. Located within the “Sun in its Splendor” are two white Federal Stars, symbolizing National Union and two yellow fluer-de-lis, symbolizing State Sovereignty (our State motto). Also located within the “Sun” are two crossed white feathers which symbolize the American Indian heritage that is responsible for the name of the county in which Rochester is located – Sangamon County. The name Sangamon comes from the Indian word San-gam-ma, meaning mouth of river.
The Village of Rochester’s Coat of Arms is registered nationally by the American College of Heraldry.