While visiting in Freeport today, I stopped at the Stephenson County Sheriff's Office. It's a rather modest and small building. When you walk in the front door, you are right at the glass security window. There is no long walk up to the reception window.
There was a sign on the window that read something like, "We will be glad to help you when you are off your cell phone." What a nice way to put it. That's small-town courtesy.
Walking up the block, I passed an open garage door. Inside, a uniformed deputy was hosing off his squad car. No such thing as running it over to a mechanic for a wash job or down to the local carwash. It's your car; wash it. (And I didn't ask if it was a take-home car.)
Around back two squad cars were parked. Maybe I saw all three squad cars of the sheriff's department; I don't know.
What I did notice was that the Stephenson County Sheriff has a 5-point star on the patrol car. Not his own version of the department badge, like in McHenry County. The 5-point star is the official badge, and that's the one that belongs on the vehicles and the stationery. For a good, clear look at the 5-point star, click on the image. (Then click on the Back button on your browser to come back here.)
And there shouldn't be a look-alike badge on campaign literature.
If you aren't sure whether Keith Nygren is using emblem of office on campaign literature, go to
www.mcgop.org/mcgop/2009%20Nygren%20fundraiser%20trifold.pdf and check out the patch for the posse. See the 7-point star with the wording "Sheriff" and "McHenry County Sheriff's Police" on the patch. Think a couple of those patches on a black jacket might be enough to persuade someone after dark that the wearer was really a deputy (except he would be an impostor).