Culture, Recent Events

Sister Cities Exchange Police Patches

Paolo Vittorini – Italian State Police Officer

Ciao Lodi! … my name is Paolo Vittorini and I am a police officer in the Italian State Police (Polizia di Stato) on duty in Lodi, Italy.  I enjoy reading the articles published on LODI360 by the Lodi, CA Police Department.  Recently Lt. Chris Piombo and Cpl. Dale Eubanks kindly exchanged police shoulder patches with me, for which I am very grateful.

Let me tell you something about our police patches and share a little history about Lodi, Italy.

The red one with the black panther is the official patch of “Squadra Volante” which is a part of the “Ufficio Prevenzione Generale” (General Prevention Office).  Their duty is to patrol city streets.  They usually drive ALFA Romeo 159 cars detailed with the white outline of a panther.

The second patch is blue with a winged centaur.  It is the official patch of the “Polizia Stradale” who patrol the freeways, interstates and country road system.  They drive station wagons of different makes including ALFA Romeos, Volvo’s, BMW’s, Audi’s, Renault’s, Subaru’s, etc.

All police patches like these are worn on the left side of the uniform.  Many officers also pin a similar metal badge with the same logo on their left front pocket.

Cpl. Dale Eubanks Accepting Italian Police Patches

There are actually seven different police forces in Italy:

1) Polizia di Stato (State Police)
2) Carabinieri (Military Corp)
3) Polizia Locale (Municipal Police)
4) Polizia Provinciale (Environmental Provincial Police)
5) Corpo Forestale dello Stato (Environmental State Police)
6) Polizia Penitenziaria (Correctional Facility State Police)
7) Guardia di Finanza (Taxes)

The Polizia di Stato (State Police) drive Lamborghini’s that are specifically used for urgent dispatching of transplantation organs. These cars were donated to the Police by Lamborghini. The State Police is the main police force in Italy and do everything concerning police duties: traffic, investigations, patrol, weapons, passports, computer/internet crimes, public order, etc.

Carabinieri are a military armed force that does the same things of the State Police, but have a station/office in almost every city, town and village of Italy. They are everywhere.

The Polizia Locale (Local Police) are mostly traffic officers in town. They drive white vehicles with a green line along the borders, as every Local Police in Lombardy (each municipality has its own).

Polizia Provinciale and Corpo Forestale dello Stato do almost the same thing: environment control, pollution, animals, etc. The first locally, the second nationwide.

Polizia Penitenziaria work nationwide in the Correctional Facilities of Italy.

Guardia di Finanza are the “taxes police” and are present in the main cities. They control mostly smuggling crimes, tax frauds and evasions, gambling.


Police Headquarters

Lodi’s castle and iconic tower are symbols of our city.  Today, the whole castle complex is the provincial Headquarter (Questura) of the Italian State Police (Polizia di Stato), where I daily go to work.

The castle was built by Frederick Red Beard in the second half of the XII century, after founding the city of actual Lodi. Originally the castle was a solid defensive and strategic mansion, with all the four sides protected by reinforced walls. After many centuries, the weapons and machines of war evolved from slings to cannons, as did the structure of the castle itself. A complete reconstruction was done between 1355 and 1370 increasing the size of the structure and adding a square tower on every corner, plus deep underground prisons. In 1456 Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, added a rounded new tower (the Torrione) on the northern side of the castle. The present aspect of this tower is not the original and the medieval look is kind of fake as the upper part was built in style with battlements in 1906 to store the new municipal water tank.

Now the castle has only two sides remaining.  One side was first demolished in the XVIII century during the Austrian Empire domination that transformed the castle into barracks for the soldiers. The moat had been filled up and porches built in the courtyard. Some parts of the moat are still visible today, hosting trees and grass. The last demolition process took part during the fascist regime to make room for a technical-college in 1941.

I hope you enjoyed my story.  Please leave a comment below, especially if you have been to my Lodi.

Paolo – Lodi, Italy


3 thoughts on “Sister Cities Exchange Police Patches

  1. Good of you to connect with our City. Drop me aline sometime and we can share stories about our life, hobbies, etc,

    Posted by Hugh Metcalf | July 21, 2012, 11:02 pm
  2. Dear Mr. Paolo Vittorini:

    Thank you for your participation with the Lodi Police Department with the patches. As President of the Lodi Sister City Committee, I am delighted to see your correspondence on our web site. Thank you so much for your development of this communication between our two cities. I have many fond memories of the Italian delegatiion who visited Lodi, California on September 13-16, 2006. We hope you continue to develop a strong communication network between our two cities by way of . I fully support your efforts in this regard. My email is if you wish to communicate with me directly.


    Bill Hinkle, President
    Lodi Sister City Committee

    Posted by Anonymous | June 24, 2012, 5:33 pm
  3. My name is Lynn Benbrook ( mr.) I am a 14 year member of the Lodi Ca. USA Police Department Volunteers, serving as a training officer and Volunteer Advisor. we are a civilian group of retired citizens who assist the police department with public service duties.

    Photo Courtesy of Lodi News Sentinel

    Our volunteer group has been recognized by the national association of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs as the premier Police volunteer group in America. We do patrol work, Write parking citations, traffic control, crowd control, crime scene security,finger printing, assist in the Records Section, assist in the annimal control shelter, lead tours of our Police Department, serve witness subpoenas for Civil and Criminal trials, and many other duties. We buy our own uniforms, eqiuptment and vehicles for patrol.Our new Building was built in 2001 to replace the old one built in 1964 and before that in 1924. Your city has a more ancient and illustrious history, one to be proud of, while we are a relatively new country. I have been to Italy before, Rome and Florinzia, and found them beautiful and was intrigued by by the police there. I will talk to Corporal Eubanks and ask to see ypur shoulder patch. In your picture you look very imposing.

    Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2012, 10:21 pm

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