About Us/FAQ

About Us/Where we get our patches

As mentioned at the bottom of the page, The Patch Wall was created by a small group of people who collect Police, Fire, and EMS patches. This website was designed to showcase those patches on our wall, and allow everyone to view each individual patch, and view information on where and how we obtained it. Unfortunately, some departments don't send out or trade patches due to the risk of Police/Fire/EMS impersonation. Because of this, it's not always possible to get patches directly from departments. Some of our patches may come from members of the public or ex-police officers who got their hands on a specific agency patch. Before adding these we try to verify the authenticity of the patch, and if we're unable to do so (a majority of the time), we do not mark the patch as "Official". Most patches come from members of our group trading patches with departments directly.


What is an "Official" patch?
The following patches are marked as "Official"
  • The patch was sent directly from an agency/department
  • The patch was sent by the public, but verified to be authentic
  • The patch was purchased from an official agency website


What is a "Processing" patch?
If a patch is "Processing", it means that we've received the patch, and it's at least started in our system. We first need to enter the details, snap a picture, and make sure everything is ready to go. Depending on how many patches are processing, this could take as long as a month or more to complete.


How long does it take for a patch to be published? What does "Esimtated Processing Time" mean?
We sometimes receive more than a dozen patches per week. We catalog each of these with images, department names/groups, city/county/state information, patch types, request/obtain dates, and much more. We normally publish 1 new patch every day, Monday through Friday, at 12:01am. Depending on the time of year, we may have a large backlog of patches waiting to be published. "Estimated Processing Time" is the estimated time between receiving a patch, and the patch being published on our website.If it's been a while and you want to confirm we've received your patch, feel free to Contact Us.

Tip: Before patches are published, we add the patch department to our "Departments" page. This could be days, or weeks before the patch is published.


What do the letters mean on the images of patches?
All of our patch images have letters and sometimes numbers. These are usually the abbreviation of the department, followed by the state abbreviation. For example, Shelbyville Police Department, Indiana, might be listed as spd-in. This set of letters is also the URL of the patch. https://thepatchwall.org/patch/spd-in

Obviously there is likely more than one SPD within Indiana, so patches we receive after the first SPD will have a different URL. Some departments with "iconic" abbreviations, such as CHP (California Highway Patrol), may not have a state abbreviation included.


I saw a patch on your website that isn't on the wall, why?
There are many likely scenarios for this. As we receive more and more patches, our display cases or wall boards fill up. In some cases we may not have enough room to put the patch, and may have to wait until we have more space available. Another possibility is that we may have taken a patch off of our boards/wall to move it somewhere else.


How can I buy a patch?
We do not sell or distribute any patch listed on our website. Some of our patches are only sent to us because of our ties with public safety agencies, these departments generally don't send them to the public, nor will we.