Law enforcement badges, more than anything else, are the symbols of the countless officers who dedicated and are dedicating their lives to the protection of the people and the keeping of peace and order in their jurisdiction. These signify bravery, selflessness, sacrifice, and love for country. Having said these, it is not surprising that a lot of people have developed a serious interest in collecting badges worn by members of various law enforcement agencies. Here are some things we need to know if we want to start our very own collection.

Setting Expectations

Before anything else, it is important to stress the fact that law enforcement agencies are not likely to turn over obsolete badges they may have in possession to aspiring collectors, even if we express sincerity in just preserving these for posterity and even if we have no criminal record. And given the number of crimes perpetrated by individuals impersonating as law enforcers, this attitude is understandable.

Where to Find Law Enforcement Badges

There are three popular places where we can find badges. The first of these is in antique shops that sell bric-a-brac. And even if we don’t find any badges, the dealers can point us in the right direction towards acquiring our first pieces.

Another venue where we can find old badges is expos and trade shows that focus on selling curios. The good thing about going to these events is that even if we don’t find anything of interest, we can ask for the contact information of dealers who may be able to help us in the future.

The third place where we can find badges is online auctions and stores. Now, it is highly likely that we’ll find numerous badges for sale or trade here, but before we close a deal with a seller or trader, we should first take time to know whether the object we are interested in acquiring is the real deal or has value.


Kinds of Law Enforcement Badges We Can Find

Authentic obsolete badges can be worth thousands of dollars, that’s why a lot of unscrupulous individuals have made it their business to produce counterfeit items and sell these to collectors who don’t know any better. While we may find the real deal, there’s a pretty big chance that most items that come our way fall under any of these categories: fakes, modified badges, reproductions, and non-department-issued badges. All of these hold little to no value.

On Handling the Badges in Our Collection

Law Enforcement BadgesAs a collector, we should not only concern ourselves with collecting pieces, but also in preserving them. Once we have acquired a badge or several badges, we should make it a point to clean these right away, and clean them properly. Doing so entails making use of a clean and soft piece of cotton cloth dipped in warm soapy water, and a jewelry-cleaning solution. Vintage badges made of brass can be cleaned with a metal-cleaning solution; but with badges made of other materials, this is not recommended. After cleaning, we should mount our collection of law enforcement badges properly, and place these in a special area of the house.