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    

Merced County California Sheriff Reserve Patch ++ O/s Rare CaOld Style Compton California Police Patch ++ Mint Los Angeles County Ca HtfVintage Unalaska Police Department Alaska Law Enforcement PatchDel Norte County California Sheriff Patch ****Tiburon California Ca Srt ( Subdeud Green / Black ) Police PatchContra Costa County California Marshal Patch ****Contra Costa County California Sheriff Motco Patch ****North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Subdued Game Warden Police PatchLarge Lot Of Police / Security / State Patrol (& More) Patches - 128 PcsToronto Ontario Canada Indian Tribal Police Patch Bullion Native Liaison RareClaremont California Ca ( Subdued Green ) Police Patch Free Shipping!!!Tucson Green Valley Arizona Az Police Patch Sheriff Security Marshal Old AntiqueLot Of 25 Police Patches Collectibles Ny, Pa, MdFulton - El Camino California Ca Police Patch Free Shipping!!!Wawa Canada Police Department Patch (b17-5)Yuba County California Sheriff Patch 3rd ****Lot Of 30 Police Sheriff Correction Patches Patch 25 Unused & 5 UsedTombstone Arizona Marshal PatchNypd Police Patch AssortmentStanislaus County California Marshal Patch Blue Older Version ****Lot Of 50 Chicago Fire PatchesColorado State Patrol, Embroidered Cloth Patch Co Lot Of 12 Mounted On PaperVintage North Dakota Highway Patrol, Old Felt State Patrol Cloth Patch Lot Of 2Del Norte County California Sheriff Patch White ****Tucson Airport Authority Arizona Az Police Patch Sheriff Security MarshalCity Of Watertown Wisconsin Department Patch (b17-5)Nevada Police Patches Lot Of 24Lot Of 25 Sampson Nc Police Collectible PatchesNice Lot Of 3 Haines, Alaska Police PatchesCommunications Officer State Patrol Colorado Embroidered Cloth Patch Co -policePennsylvania State Police Hazardous Device & Explos Police Patch Pennsylvania PaGlade Spring Virginia Va Police Patch Old Railroad Train Station Depot SteamMaryland National Capital Park Police K-9 PatchMassachusetts State Law Enforcement Animal Control Officer Police PatchGa Savannah-chatham Georgia Metro Police PatchTexas Dept. Of Criminal Justice Inspector General Police, Subdued Patch Velcro Vintage Ohio Highway Patrol, Old Felt Auxiliary Embroidered Cloth Patch Lot Of 2Rice University Texas Tx Police PatchCt Connecticut Mashantucket Pequot Indian Tribe Tribal Federal Police Swat PatchWashington County Illinois Sheriff Department Shoulder PatchOld Rolling Hills Kentucky Police PatchOld Woodlawn Park Kentucky Police PatchNeptune Beach Florida 1931 Fl Police Patch Free Shipping!!! Very Nice!!Worthington Hills Kentucky Police PatchOld Brownsboro Village Kentucky Police PatchOld St Regis Park Kentucky Police PatchColorado State Patrol, Embroidered Cloth Patch Co Lot Of 9 Mounted On PaperMaryland Transportation Authority K-9 Police Patch Md K9 Canine German ShepherdCobb County Police Department Bomb Squad Patch GeorgiaCity Of Everett Police Citizen Volunteers Against Crime Shoulder Patch Wa StateNevada Police Patches Lot Of 70Ct Connecticut Pequot Indian Tribe Foxwoods Casino Security Tribal Police PatchPatches Police WashingtonThree Rivers Park Dist Service Ranger State Minnesota Mn Police Shoulder PatchOld Louisville Kentucky React Expressway Patrol Patch Maryland Heights Missouri Mo K-9 Unit Police Patch Free Shipping!!!Tucson Arizona Az Marshal Patch Sheriff Security PoliceOld West Point Kentucky Police PatchHighway Patrol Captain State Of Florida Embroidered Cloth Patch Fl -Kansas Game Warden Patch, Defunct, With Rare Enforcement Tab