Estate sale leads College Place Police Lieutenant to surprising find

COLLEGE PLACE, Wash. — You never know what you might come across at a local estate sale, and for one College Place Police Lieutenant, it proved to be a gold mine.

In a Facebook post, CPPD recounted how Lt. Robert Benfield came across some throwback College Place Police gear at an estate sale.

Last week, CPPD Chief Troy Tomaras and Lt. Benfield were discussing where they might find an original uniform that was missing from the city’s historical collection.

More specifically though, they wanted to find the original shoulder patch that’s gray with the black letters, “College Place Police,” over a portrait of George Washington.

The department has some historical photos of officers wearing the old uniform with the original patch, to reference.

Back then, CPPD said officers also wore an ‘Industrial First Aid’ patch on their right shoulder to indicate that they had first aid training and could help in needed situations.

Chief Tomaras asked retired police officers if anyone had these patches, but nobody has them in their possession.

Soon after their conversation, Lt. Benfield and his wife went to a local estate sale. While looking around the property and sorting through estate items, CPPD said he discovered a couple of the uniforms with the patch they were in search of.

The Facebook post writes Lt. Benfield was so excited, he immediately texted a photo of his discovery to the Chief who replied:

“We just talked about that yesterday!”

When Lt. Benfield approached the estate sale organizer and shared this story and the conversation he had with the Chief, the individual graciously donated the old uniforms, complete with the missing patch.

The department went on to share a bit of history about the origins of CPPD. The department was established in 1942 and patrolled by US Marshal Henry Adams. In 1945, the city was incorporated and CPPD began to add more officers.

While the city employed a few full time officers, most were volunteer reservists.

The original uniform, that was found at the estate sale, is believed to have been in use through the 1950’s before it was replaced by the French blue uniform.

In current times, officers wear a dark blue uniform with a patch designed by College Place High Schooler Alex Kjeldgaard, who created it in 2017.

The current patch is CPPD’s fourth patch worn by officers.