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    

Maine Wildlife Game Commission Warden K9 Unit Patch Velcro Backing Me Very RareSubdued South Carolina State Conservation Officer Police Patch Fish Game WardenLos Angeles Sheriff Montrose Resuce And Mounted Posse Substation 3 Patch SetSan Francisco California Ca Institutional Police Dept. Patch California Dept. Of Fish & Wildlife Patch - Warden Current Police RareSanta Anita California Ca Police Patch Race Track Horse RacingDoe Naval Reactors Protective Force Dept Energy Federal Police Patch WashingtonPentagon Force Protective Agency ~ Psu Swat ~ Federal Police Patch Washington DcSubdued Connecticut State Conservation Officer Police Patch Fish Game Warden CtVintage Vermont State Conservation Officer Police Patch Fish Game Warden VtVery Old Greenlee County Arizona Sheriff Patch Used AzPala Tribal Law Enforcement Patch From San Diego See Photo.Obs. North Carolina State Wildlife Resources Conservation Patch Fish Game WardenState Of Washington Edpartment Of Fisheries PatchDepartment Of Game State Wildlife Agent Patch - 2 PieceOakland School Police California Shoulder Patch3 Different Old Style Union Pacific Railroad Company Police PatchesVirginia State Police Tack Team Patches Opp Ontario Provincial Police Biker Enforcement Unit, Canada Rare Shoulder PatchFerguson Missouri Police Patch Los Angeles Sheriff Malibu Mounted Posse PatchOld Montana State Game & Fish Dnr Conservation Police Patch Vintage MtOld Soldotna Alaska Police Patch Vintage AkBuckeye Arizona Police Swat Division PatchLos Angeles Sheriff West Hollywood Mounted Posse PatchFirst Issue El Centro Ca Police Department PatchTekoa Police PatchGlendale California K9 Police Green PatchWisconsin State Conservation Officer Police Patch Fish Wildlife Game Warden Burbank California Police Special Weapons & Tactics Swat Tab PatchCalgary Police Canine Unit Subdued Patch, Alberta, Canada, Police Dog CrestNashville Tennessee International Airport Subdued Police Dept. Patch Upper Skagit Fisheries Enforcement Patch Washington Tribe Tribal PolicePark Police Environmental Conservation Encom Ranger Dnr F&g Service PatchIowa Dept Of Natural Resources Patch - Dnr W/scarce Law Enforcement Tab3 Different Old Style Conrail Railroad Company Police PatchesBellevue Police Cloth Patch - First IssueCollection Of Dallas Police Patches - Some Very Hard To GetOld Vintage Rare Police Sheriff Patch Collection Group Lot 50 Plus In All Toronto Police �� Service - Subdued Black And Grey Police Dog Service Patch!Old Montana Game Fish Hunter Instructor Police Patch Vintage State Shaped Dnr MtSan Diego, California Fire Department Bomb Squad Patch SetGlendale California Blue K9 Police Patch*rare* Florida Dept. Of Transportation Motor Carrier Compliance Law Enf. PatchEod Police Arizona Bullhead City Polce Department Bomb Technician Subdued Patch3 Diff Florida Fish & Widlife PatchesMilwaukee County Transit Security Police Sheriff Wisconsin Wackenhut PatchYelm Marshal Cloth Patch - Cheese Cloth BackingCalifornia Regional Swat Fset Police PatchSaskatchewan (canada) Conservation Officer Patches - Lot Of 10Old Walt Disney World Orlando Fl Loss Prevention Safety Fire Patch UnusedNypd Tactical Medic Patch Nyc EmsSeattle Violent Gang Task Force PatchOld Kenai Alaska Jail Corrections Police Sheriff Patch Vintage AkOld Live Oak California Police Patch Vintage CaFernandina Beach Florida Police Department PatchFederal Interior National Park Service Nps Volunteer Patch Us Marshal Special Operations Group Vi Tactical Unit PatchUs Marshal District Of Nevada Fugitive Investigative Strike Team PatchOnaway Michigan Mi Police Patch State Seal State Seal Moose Elk Eagle Banner~