Compared to police badges, which have been symbols of authority since at least the mid-19th century, when tin stars differentiated the "good" guys from the "bad" ones in the Wild West, police patches are relatively recent arrivals. In fact, police patches did not become popular in the United States until the 1930s, when insignia for law-enforcement officials were hand embroidered on felt. Eventually the designs and lettering on patches for local, state, and federal peacekeepers were stitched by sewing machines, which brought uniformity to the designs and ubiquity to the genre.

Police patches can be shaped like shields, circles, triangles, and (depending on your locality) arrowheads, keystones, or an officer’s home state. Some people collect patches based on geography (for example, all the police badges in Texas) while others collect patches based on the wearer’s duties, whether they worked on a bomb squad, S.W.A.T. team, or mounted patrol. Patches showing service in a specialized units such as motorcycle patrols, divisions, or squads are generally more difficult to find (they are certainly pricier) than stock patches, which only vary from area to area by the name of the community being served. Other special-unit patches include those worn by members of Native American “tribal” police officers.

Sheriff and highway-patrol patches are highly collected, as are patches featuring elaborate embroidery (vintage patches from Alaska, Hawaii, and Florida are some of the nicest). And then there are U.S. government police patches, which range from simple patches bearing the letters M.P. for military police to more elaborate designs that herald one’s membership in the police units of the U.S. Treasury, Arlington National Cemetery, or even the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Comic Character Pinbacks

Comic Character Pinbacks

Mark Lansdown's excellent collection of over 800 pinbacks representing 200+ comic characters from 100+ strips. Beau… [read review or visit site]

Most watched eBay auctions    

Huge Law Enforcement Police Patch Lot.Virginia Game & Inland Fisheries Conservation Police PatchFirst Issue Lancaster Ca Park Ranger PatchMiami Police Homicide Unit Patch Grim Reaper Ultimate Collector's Piece!!!Very Old Rare Massachusetts Game Warden Conservation Officer PatchLot Of 12 Police Uniform PatchesScottsdale Police, Arizona, United States, Tactical Swat PatchFremont Plant California Gm Police Patch (highway Patrol, Police, Sheriff)Nevada - Ormsby County Sheriff's Dept - Defunct Agency Since 1969, Old Patch, NvFederal Energy Doe Protective Force Patch Kansas City, Mo Police Allied SignalScottsdale Police, Arizona, United States, Tactical Swat PatchCeres, California Police Swat Patch - TanVintage North Carolina Mecklenburg County Police Badge & PatchesSan Diego Transit Police Security Patrol Officer Patch SetLot Of 12 Different Mostly State Of Texas Police Uniform PatchesFederal Usms Ny Nj Op Falcon Patch Atf Dea Nysp Ssa Oig Syracuse, Ny Police San Diego Zoo Security Patch. Uniform Take-off From California. VhtfCalvert County, Maryland Sheriff Ert Emergency Response Team PatchDelta Regional Auto Theft Team In San Joaquin County, California PatchFederal Dea Fbi Op Somalia Express Patch Irs Ice Nysp Cbp Ypbd Ocdetf Drug TfCity Of Avalon Harbor Patrol Patch Police Patch Maryland Commission Of Game And Inland Fish Regional WardenCeres, California Police Swat Patch - Gray TonesLot Of 207 Police, And Government Patches Some Hard-to-find, And Vintage IncludeState Of Hawaii - Attorney General Investigations Division PatchOpg Ontario Canada Power Hydro Nuclear Security Tactical Ert Police Patch SwatPrairie Island Indiam Community - Minnesota Tribal Police PatchWest Virginia Motor Carrier Enforcement Patch - Truck Enforcement Old Style Outagamie County, Wisconsin Sheriff PatchMetro-dade, Florida Transit Security PatchUsa Federal Presidential Helicopter Squadron Hmx-1 Police K9 Patch Not Fbi DeaOld Portland Bureau Of Police Patch Or Oregon Police - The Rose CityVintage Fredericksburg, Va Police Patch Ferguson Missouri Mo Police PatchCalifornia Highway Lot Of Patches Shoulder, Sgt, Badge, Yos, Civilian & ExplorerDea Cocaine Intelligence Unit Drug Enforcement Administration Shoulder PatchFederal Dea Mexico Central America Sect. 5" Patch Washington, Dc Hqs Drug Tf VweVintage Pennsylvania State Police 1976 Camp Cadet PatchUnused Pinal County Arizona Sheriff Police Patch With Presentation FolderOld Vermont Atate Game Warden Conservation Police Office Patch California State -dept. Of Mental Health Police Patch ++ +obsolete CaAberdeen Washington Police Patch UnusedOpg Ontario Canada Power Hydro Nuclear Security Enforcement Police Patch BadgeSecurity Manager Badge - Johnson Controls - Will Include A Security PatchLax Airport California Police Patch (hard To Find) (free Shipping)Massachusetts Cape Cod Regional Law Enforcement Council Swat PatchArizona * Tucson Airport Authority Police Patch - SubduedNapa County Ca Marshal PatchVintage Desert Hot Springs Police Police Officer Shoulder Patch California3 Different Maywood Park District, Illinois Police PatchesPolice Patch Lookout Mountain Srt Subdued Unknown State Velcro BackingOld Style Jacksonville, Mississippi Police PatchSan Bernardino County Constableca Patch - Bear Valley Judicial DistrictVintage Chicago And North Western Railroad Police Shoulder Patch Cnw NosUsa Federal Protective Service Fps Police Dog K9 Bullion Homeland Patch Not FbiVintage Norfolk County Sheriff's Department Obsolete Shoulder Patch Bx 10#14 Port Of Tacoma Police Security Patrol Officer Patch SetCalaveras County Sheriff PatchAudubon Wildlife Game Warden PatchSan Luis Police, Arizona, United States, Patch