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    

Hawaii Land Nat Res. Conservation Police Patch Wildlife Game Warden SubduedHawaii Land Nat Res. Enforcement Patch Conservation Wildlife Game Warden PoliceHawaii Conservation Enforcement Officer Patch Wildlife Game Warden PoliceCalifornia State Police - 1st Issue PatchMetropolitan Toronto Police Cadet PatchHawaii Land Nat Res. Enforcement Patch Conservation Wildlife Game Warden PoliceRubber Raincoat 50's Rainfair Black W/chest Patch Buckles Xl Fits 5'8" NicelyNational City Police "pink" Patch83 Vermont Police Patch Badge Lot Burlington Essex Northfield Uniform Take-offsSan Diego County California Sheriff Hat Vest Patch Unused Moraga-lafayette Police / Contra Costa County Sheriff California PatchEarly Common. Of Pennsylvania Fish Commission Patch, Game Warden Patch, Pa PatchGermany Nrw Munster Polizei Sek Ii German Police Swat Srt Ert Trt Esu PatchLos Angeles County District Attorney Police Bureau Of Investigation Lapd PatchProvincial Civil Defence Auxilary Police Ontario PatchSouth Orange County Community College California School Campus Police PatchNisqually Police Patch Vintage Lot Of 3 Washington State Native American Usa PnwCity Of Lafayette Police / Contra Costa County Sheriff California PatchVirginia State Capitol Building (#1) Va Sheriff Police Patch Richmond CapitalCalifornia Police Patch- San Diego Sheriff Astrea HelicopterCape Breton Regional Police Patch Dyed Subdued Tactical Ert Nova Scotia Canada Riverside County District Attorney Police PatchOld Deputy Hernando County Florida Badge Vintage Plus Older Sheriff's Dept PatchCity Of Oakland Ranger, California - Police Early Issue PatchGraceland Memphis Tennessee Security Patch (b11)Vintage Gadsden State Junior College, Alabama Police Dept Patch Al C~flagTexas Dps Highway Patrol (gold On Black Twill) Tx Sheriff State Police PatchSierra Madre Police Department Pink Patch ProjectSwat/special Enforcement Team Patch: Santa Barbara County SheriffLos Angeles Police Department Lapd Patch SetFederal Fbi Alaska Police Patch Fairbanks, Anchorage, Juneau, Ak Bear Eagle Santa Barbara Sheriff Aviation Unit PatchEod Swat Subdued Dearborn Police State Michigan Bomb Squad Mi Shoulder PatchRare Police Patch CollectionMinnesota- Awesome- City Of Dayton Police Department- Nice PatchUsss El Paso Resident Office Texas Tx Federal Police Patch Cowboy MarshalEmery County Sheriff Dept.patch Utah Ut (law Enforcement-police) *nice+rare+old*Elmwood Park • North Bay (~old Vintage) Wisconsin Sheriff Police Patch RainbowOmaha Nation Ne Nebraska Indian Tribe Tribal Police PatchLos Angeles California Police American Legion Post 381 Shoulder PatchUs Federal Protection Police Patch Old Felt Cheese Cloth RareCalifornia State Parks - Large 12' Patch Featuring 8 Historic State Park BadgesSt Louis, Missouri Bomb And Arson Technician Shoulder Patch MoFairfax County Police Helicopter Unit PatchSet Of 8 Santa Barbara, Ca Police PatchesLos Angeles Sheriff Seb Swat Police PatchSceic Awesome Sonora Police Shoulder Patch State Texas TxVa Patrick County Sheriff Patch Virginia Subdued Tactical Law Police RareGerman Polizei Hessen Germany Police Computer Forensic Crime Analyst PatchFbi El Paso Texas Tx Evidence Response Crime Scene Csi Colorful Police PatchRare - Toronto Fire Dept Patch, Ontario, Canada3 Different Victoria Police Patches, Australia Texas Tx State Department Of Public Safety Dps Rangers Brown Swat Police PatchMichigan Detroit Police Reserve Patch Set 4Massachusetts College Of Liberal Arts Public Safety Patch Mass Ma Richmond (~ Gold Mylar) Virginia Va Sheriff Police Patch Lady JusticeSecurity Badge And Patch Vintage Limestone County, Alabama Sheriffs Dept Patch Al Rare ~ County-shapedTwo Skull And Bones Washington Dc Metropolitan Police Novelty Patches Santa Barbara County Marshal Badge Patch - Defunct