Police of Abu Dhabi received new ID cards today. The badges feature a new emblem with a gold falcon holding two daggers, circled by a red ring with white palm leaves. Major-General Mohammad Khalfan Al Rumaithi, Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police, were cited by Gulf News saying “This is the first step in changing the identity of Abu Dhabi Police and we have started it with the emblem. Today, we have distributed the new badges of Abu Dhabi Police (…) In fact, we wanted to further localize the identity of Abu Dhabi Police giving more features that showcase the culture and tradition of the emirate.” All police members, officers and non-officers will be required to carry the new id cards at all times and produce it when asked by community member during an investigation. The new emblem will also go to all vehicles and uniform during the upcoming months.
Besides the new emblem new badge also features numerous security enhancements which makes it foolproof and impossible to counterfeit. A black, bi-fold wallet carries the card, similar in style to the ones used by the FBI in the United States. Notably the new emblem is free of the United Arab Emirates flag image which is not unusual since Dubai police force emblem is also missing the flag. Again as the police chief mentioned the intent was to make impression of more local affiliation rather than national one which the flag might have suggested in the past.
It’s not unusual to replace the ID badges for law enforcement agency officers. As the document ages the security features once very strong become easier to counterfeit. Just like currency bills that get a refresh once the authorities realize the risk of counterfeit grew too high. At the same time logos or emblems get redesigned if an idea compelling enough crosses the decision maker’s agenda. Just like in the corporate world logo is an important part of the image and old looking logo may suggest that other things among the organization are out of date too. In the times of social media significance perception is performance even among government agencies which technically don’t depend on public opinion especially in the political system governing the emirates.
Additionally lost and stolen identification accumulate over years and raises the risk of criminals using it against the community. While reproducing a law enforcement ID at the level it looks real is usually pretty hard replacing a photograph is a much easier job and often used technique by the impostors. This is one of the reason for using holographic overlay which covers the photo and cannot be separated from the id badge without destroying it. Custom holographic patterns are extremely expensive to develop and the facilities that have capacity to develop them are usually closely monitored.
Abu Dhabi police was formed back in 1957 when the emirate was still under British influence. It started with just 80 members guarding royal family buildings, banks and markets. Today the police in Abu Dhabi employs 12,500 officers and non-officer workforce. They service the usual law enforcement tasks of criminal investigation, order, traffic as well as SWAT like assignments.