Toronto police have launched an investigation into the online sale of two decommissioned, pre-amalgamation Metropolitan Toronto Police badges on eBay.
When CityNews showed Chief Mark Saunders the items for sale on eBay, he was both surprised and concerned.
Toronto Police Service lawyers are now writing to eBay to have the pages taken down, and police are investigating how they ended up online and who’s trying to sell them.
The seller’s name is northernboy50, and the items are said to be in Sudbury.
TPS spokesman Mark Pugash said personating a peace officer is a serious crime.
“What concerns us is if somebody tries to use a badge who is not an officer or no longer an officer, then you’re getting into significant criminal liability, and that’s the major concern,” he said.
A man said he was trying to buy the items so he could turn them in to Toronto police.
“I think it’s a dangerous item in the wrong people’s hands,” said the potential buyer, who wanted to remain anonymous.
“Somebody earned that badge and I think it should be respected as that.”
When officers retire from the force, they are supposed to turn in their badge.
Pugash said he has seen items that are “much less credible” than the badges for sale eBay, but CityNews has not been able to confirm their authenticity.
One of the items is an auxiliary badge complete with badge number; the second is a deputy chief badge.
A York Regional Police badge is also among the items offered by the same seller.
EBay has not yet responded to a request for comment.