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Friday, January 9, 2015

Queensland (Australia) Police Officer Bryan Eaton and LPD Officer Dennis
Sobieraski trade patches this afternoon at LPD headquarters. (SCOTT 
On his way from Rochester to Niagara Falls this afternoon, Bryan Eaton was detoured through the Lock City on account of the winter storm closing the I-90. Eaton let that detour lead him straight to the Lockport Police Department.

While most people might hope not to encounter local law enforcement while on vacation, Eaton, a highway patrol officer with the Queensland Police Service in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, was eager to stop by LPD in hopes of trading one of his Queensland police patches for a LPD patch.

On a five-week vacation in the States, Eaton brought 100 of his home department patches with him to trade while on his travels. While visiting Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and New York, he has traded 60 so far.

In all, Eaton has 14,000 patches in his collection, which he's been building since the 1990s.

Traveling a lot helps. “Every couple of years, we try to go somewhere,” he said. His current trip is his fourth visit to the United States in the past 15 years.

He said while traveling, he picks a place with a police department every few hours and stops. “If I stopped at every place, I wouldn’t get far every day.”

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