Collecting police memorabilia has gained massive popularity in the last few decades. That is because of the significant role of law enforcement in maintaining peace in local communities, protecting legal rights, and ensuring citizens’ safety. The citizens and local communities are more aware now than ever of law enforcement’s critical role in the local communities. Gone are the days when only the majority of police collectibles collectors were former police officers. These days a lot of law enforcement supports, and civilians who don’t have any direct connection with the law enforcement, love to collect police memorabilia. Besides, police collectibles are not only used for exhibits. Here you will find various uses of police collectibles.
Police Collectibles as Sign of Respect
The use of police patches became an agency identification tool in the 1920s. Since then, many law enforcement agencies exchange police collectibles, such as badges and police patches, with other agencies as a sign of trust, respect, and collaboration. It has become a tradition for many law enforcement agencies to exchange patches and other collectibles with other agencies.
To Commemorate Police Officers
Patches and other collectibles, such as police challenge coins are used to commemorate police officers who are high-achievers or best-performers. The tradition of giving challenge coins to the fallen and active police officers is adopted from the military. In the military, challenge coins are used to pay homage to the fallen and current offers. These challenge coins serve the same purpose in police agencies. Challenge coins are also used for identity verification and also to grant membership to officers of a particular group they are part of. It is considered an honor to carry these challenge coins in law enforcement.
Police Collectibles for Group Membership
It is widespread in law enforcement to give police challenge coins to make the officers feel part of a group. For example, members of a particular police unit (e.g., K9 unit, criminal investigations, or SWAT) will receive unique challenge coins that will have identity markers for that specific group they are associated with.
Police Collectibles Make Unique Gifts
Police officers, their family members, and supporters use various police collectibles, such as police coins and patches, as gifts. The collectibles that are used as gifts are different from the ones that are issued by law enforcement agencies. The police memorabilia that is used as a gift is available in different varieties. There are even options to customize the police collectibles with name, badge number, police unit, or other details. The customized collectibles are a popular option for giving gifts. There are also customized law enforcement apparel that you can use unique gifts. These may include hoodies, t-shirts, socks, and so forth.
Police Collectibles to Raise Funds for Law Enforcement Agencies
Law enforcement agencies sell patches and challenge coins to the civilians to raise funds for the police departments. The use of patches to raise funds for police cruises is one example. Sometimes, private collectors also sell their police memorabilia to raise funds. It is also widespread among those police support agencies and non-profit organizations that collect charity for law enforcement to give away Police Stickers to the donators.
Police Memorabilia as Decoration
Most collectors who collect police memorabilia like to exhibit their collection. Some law enforcement supporters plaster police stickers on their vehicles to show their support for the police department. Others want to use police wall stickers or decals to put their passion for law enforcement on display through these collectibles.
Connecting with Other Officers & Supporters
Police officers love to exchange challenge coins, patches, and other collectibles with police officers who serve in different departments or agencies. Private collectors exchange these collectibles with law enforcement of other countries. This tradition is to show respect to other officers and to exchange new ideas. There are groups of law enforcement memorabilia collectors that offer support for this hobby, useful insight about policing, and other matters. Some online communities organize events for members to get to know each other and share knowledge.
Teach Kids About Law Enforcement History
These collectibles are an excellent way to teach kids about the history of law enforcement or maybe geography. Every police patch and badge is unique and tells a unique story. It is fun to learn about which patch belongs to which police department, where is the police department located, why the patch was released, and so forth. These collectibles can also be used to teach kids about the great law enforcement missions, achievements, and notable police officers in history.
How to Not Use Police Collectibles?
It is crucial to check local laws about police collectibles since it is illegal and prohibited in some states to exchange some types of police collectibles, such as patches. However, you can still collect those collectibles designed for collection purposes only and do not have police unit insignia. The collectibles that you receive should not be used as an identity. It is also prohibited in some states to use car bumper stickers with police unit insignia or logo of any police agency. However, you can use the support stickers to show your support.
Finding Authentic Police Collectibles
If you are a beginner collector, you may find it a daunting task for you to find the authentic police collectible. There are various ways you can find authentic police collectibles. There are online forums where you can find information about the authenticity of patches and coins by connecting with other collectors. You can also invest in a police collector’s guide to give you complete details on how to check the authenticity of the collectibles. Some useful insight can also be obtained from the law enforcement museums that have courses and programs on collectibles and their history.
In conclusion, the above mentioned were some of the many uses of police collectibles. You can pick the ones that you would fit your interest. Whether it is a police coin or a customized badge, police collectibles are an excellent gift for a law enforcement officer and his or her family members.