Police memorabilia collecting

Police memorabilia collecting

Police memorabilia collecting is a hobby involving the collection and trading of law enforcement related patches or badges [In the United States, the distinction is that patches are embroidered insignia, whereas badges are metallic or plastic items affixed to a uniform] , and other memorabilia including bobby helmets, training manuals, police medals, and historic artifacts such as turn-of-the-century screw-based handcuffs and police-box globes.

Public collection

Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, many laws have been enacted which control possession of law enforcement insignia for security purposes, and this has impacted civilian collecting because they do not want the patches to be given to anyone other than law enforcement officers. In addition to this, patch reproductions have also become a problem amongst collectors, and most serious historians regard the reproductions as having no value. Various organizations, such as the California Law Enforcement Historical Society, sponsor annual events which spotlight the historical significance of preserving accurate information for future generations.

There are several publications tailored for those who pursue police patch collecting:

*"Police Collectors News", Baldwin, Wisconsin, first printed in 1986, monthly
*"Police Insignia Collectors Association Magazine" (begun in 1974), monthly
*"The Encyclopedia of Federal Law Enforcement Patches" Raymond Sherrard (2000)
*"Sheriff's insignia of the United States" James V. Claflin (1997)
*"The California Patch Book" Randall Grago (1996)

Between agencies

Police memorabilia is also exchanged between police forces themselves. The exchange of patches has begun to be seen as a sign of respect and cooperation between agencies since patches came into more common use in the 1920s for agency identityFact|date=February 2007. With the development of more modern communication between various law enforcement agencies, the trading of insignia has become widespread. One particular example can be seen at the New York Police Department's Museum in New York City, where hundreds of police badges and patches are on display, including those from other American forces, and all constabularies of the United Kingdom police force, as well as forces from South East Asia and Australia.


* The Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Museum
* Cleveland Police Historical Society Museum
* Maryland State Police Museum, Pikesville
* New York City Police Museum
* Hong Kong Police Museum
* Police Heritage Centre (Singapore Police Force)
* Winnipeg Police Museum
* Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum
* Thames Valley Police Museum
* Sheffield Fire and Police Museum
* Rotary Museum of Police and Corrections, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
* Alaska State Troopers Museum
* [http://www.sheriffmuseum.org/ San Diego County Sheriff's Museum]
* [http://www.policemuseum.org.uk/ Glasgow Police Museum, Scotland]

See also

* Patch collecting
* A list of police rank badges from around the world
* Souvenir
* United States law enforcement decorations
* Police Museum

External links

* [http://www.constabulary.com/index.htm The Constabulary, a collectors site]
* [http://www.police-memorabilia.co.uk/ British Police memorabilia collection website]
* [http://www.pica.co.uk/ Police Insignia Collectors Association]
* [http://www.calpolicehistory.com California Law Enforcement Historical Society]
* [http://www.pcnews-online.com/ Police Collectors News]
* [http://adintpolcol.tripod.com/ International Police Collection]


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