Behind Thebadge: New Jersey Police Officer Forms Single's Website
An officer employed as a full-time police officer in New Jersey, is rushing to the rescue of single emergency service workers across the country.
Officer Ken Bachman, an eight-year veteran, launched TheBadge.org earlier this year. Currently the only dating site on the Web catering exclusively to emergency service workers, TheBadge.org is free to users and offers a number of useful features.
"I first developed the idea for the website by listening to co-workers telling me horror stories of broken-down relationships and failing marriages," Bachman said. "Much of this was due to the odd shift work and job stress the police officer was bringing home."
Bachman tells the story of a Camden, New Jersey, police officer whose job in the most violent city in the United States took its toll on his marriage.
"This guy can relate to how stress on the job can ruin a relationship," Bachman said. "His fiancÃÂ© left because she could not stand the odd shift work and wasn't there when he wanted someone to talk to."
Though there are hundreds of local, national and international dating sites catering to singles of various ages, religions and ethnicities, few take into account the role one's occupation can play in a relationship. Bachman hopes TheBadge.org will change that.
"There is a brotherhood among the emergency service workers," Bachman said. "They feel very comfortable talking to others in the same line of work."
Hundreds of emergency workers have been logging on to TheBadge.org each week to do just that. Utilizing the site's free chat and public forum features, emergency service workers can cyber-flirt with other singles or simply vent their frustrations after a difficult day on the job.
"The forum offers various topics for the emergency service workers to discuss," Bachman said." For the single guys and gals that are stuck on the night shift, the Internet is available 24-7."
And Officer Bachman knows a thing or two about the benefits of online dating: in 2005 he married a woman he met online four years prior.
"It was very interesting, but expensive," Bachman said. "$19.95 per month. My website is 100% free."
Although the site is geared toward emergency service workers, it is open to the general public. As such, the site is attractive to those who may prefer to date men or women in uniform.
Currently boasting over 300 members, the site is gaining popularity as word spreads throughout the emergency service community.
"There is a wide variety of people to choose from and you control the environment," Bachman said.
Bachman hopes the site continues to grow and serve as a useful escape valve in the lives of those for whom putting themselves in harm's way is simply part of the job.
"This project is important to me because I think we need to give back to those who risk their lives everyday to protect this nation," Bachman said.
Bachman and Shore Network Connections, LLC plan to offer speed dating, cuddle parties and TheBadge.org singles cruises in the future.