Retired Deputy Sheriff shares hobby with public

Law enforcement officers from across the United States wear Gladys Brister's hobby on their sleeves.

Brister is displaying her collection of about 670 law enforcement patches and some historical photos for the public. Her patch collections and photos will be on display in the lobby of the Carson City Jail and front lobby area of the Carson City Sheriff's Department on East Musser Street.

She has been collecting patches for 20 years and then got serious after she retired as Carson City deputy sheriff in 1995.

"Before I retired I had a lot of officers who wanted to trade patches with me," Brister said.

Following a family tradition, Brister began working in law enforcement in 1972 as a dispatcher and matron in Carson City.

"Charlie Griffin, a reserve officer, sold me about 250 of his patches and that really got me fired up," Brister said. "Some people collect stamps, some collect dolls, I collect law enforcement patches."

Brister has patches from Australia, Sleepy Hollow, Ill., Texas, Connecticut, New York, Idaho and, of course, Carson City.

Whenever Brister goes on vacation she takes her duplicate patches and stops at all sheriff's departments and asks to trade patches.

"Whenever I run into other officers, I ask them to trade patches. If I don't have a Carson City patch I get their address and send them one," Brister said.

Brister also said she buys Carson City patches for $3 to trade with other officers.

"The more color a patch has, the more it costs," Sgt. Ronald John said. "There are a lot of people that collect patches, but she's got quite a collection."

Lt. Dwight Dimit worked with Brister for years before she retired.

"I think she's done so much work it's tremendous she wants to share it with us," he said.

Brister said it takes her about four hours to mount and frame her patches.

"It's just a hobby with me. They're pretty and they tell a good story," Brister said.

Brister is also displaying some historical photos of Carson City Sheriff's Departments dating back to 1955.


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