There are many pieces that make up a law enforcement uniform: badge, nameplate, ranking stripes, specialty patches, medals, pen, handcuffs, etc. The list goes on. Each item represents something and is worn for a reason. Aside from the badge itself though, it’s the patch that a lot of officers find most meaningful. Custom police patches are worn in honor of people, events, and memorable moments. Officers wear them and collect them to represent something greater than themselves.
Keith Bettinger, a retired police officer, and blogger for PoliceOne.com says his “Paid In Full” patch is most meaningful to him. According to Bettinger, it’s the atypical ones that go unnoticed but mean the most. “It’s not a fancy emblem. It is just black and gold. All it has on it is the name of the community, the word ‘POLICE’ and a gold star embroidered at the bottom. It is not a new patch. In fact, it is rather battered and worn.”
That patch tells a story though, as do most police patches. This particular one reminds Keith Bettinger that he saved a life. It reminds him even in retirement that he has made a difference in others’ lives.
It’s not always the receiving police officer who reaps the benefit of being awarded police patches. Officers are frequently able to contribute their patches to other officers or civilians who wish to honor their cause. In June 2013, for example, Colorado’s Black Forest fires consumed Lt. Jeff Jensen’s home. Jensen’s brother Jared, like Jeff, a Colorado Springs officer was killed in the line of duty in 2006. Jeff and his son had been collecting patches to honor Jared’s memory since 2006, but they lost the entire collection when Jeff Jensen’s home burned to the ground. The entire Colorado Springs Police Department got together to donate their own patches to help get the Jensens’ collection back on track.
So you see, while custom police patches are only one small component of an officer’s uniform and daily routine, they also are a much greater piece of that person’s mission and purpose. Visit www.the-patch-factory.com to see the many types of collectible police patches that are available, or email The Patch Factory at with your own ideas to create a memorable patch for your unit.