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Dave B

Obsolete Detroit Police badge opinions!

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Hi guys,

An antique dealer friend of mine bought in a box full of police memorabilia from around the world the other day and this badge being shiny caught my attention ;) I know absolutely nothing about US police badges but a quick internet search revealed that police badges are reproduced, who knew!

The internet search also showed me the most common reproductions have the number 307 and these numbers are intergral to the badge while on the example I have the numbers are seperately attached. The repro badge also has completely different die characteristics to this one too.

So, is this badge ok and is it also of an obsolete pattern?

Any help would be gratefully received.


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Dave -

I dont have any expertise on Detroit Police badges, however you should know that it is common for police officers to purchase a "second" or "duplicate" badge on their own, in addition to the badge they are issued by their department. These duplictate badges are of equal quality, or often superior qulauity to the originally issued badge. With these badges it is important to distinguish between reproductions which are pure "fakes", and reproductions which are real police badges, privately purchased by officers.

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Hi Dave,

This is one of the most commonly faked badges as it is a standard 'Michigan Police' die offered by many of the leading and smaller manufacturers. The badge is offered in the cut out applied number version that you have and the blocked in panel with engraved numbers that you have seen. I would say this one is a bad fake as it is of poor quality.

I would suggest that if you are not already a collector of U.S. Police Badges then don't start, it is a minefield for new collectors and you will get ripped off more often than you find a good badge.

Best Regards.


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Thanks for the replies guys! Sorry it took so long in getting back to you, I thought the thread had died :blush:

I pretty much thought it was a repro but it cost me nothing, so no harm done.

No I don't collect US Police badges although saying that I did get a nice obsolete cap badge the other day, this one is ok though (I hope lol).

Thanks again guys!

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I think this post illustrates the 'minefield' that badge collecting has become. The simple fact is that so many people

are collecting that is just impossible that enough genuine ones are available to fill the need.

Now, remembering that I am not an American collector , but never-the-less have a good knowledge of British Police,

I would have said that this badge looked good - and stood up to the criteria that OCPD71 put forward for spare badges

often being of better quality then the originals. Looking at the badge - from the photos supplied - the details look quite

sharp and the numerals well made and fitted. Most fakes are not of this quality and quite frankly to prepare quality

dies is quite an expensive proposition.

I would therefore, have been prepared to put 'my foot in my mouth' and say that it looked a good example. Wrong !

Les-Art - whom I have great respect for - has answered with thoroughness, and if he says FAKE, then we must accept

his answer.

I think we can all learn a lesson from this post - we belong to one of the top Forums in the World - let's remember

to use our advantage and ask for Members opinions. Mervyn

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    I don't mean to dredge up old business, but I'm relatively new on this forum, and only stumbled across this thread today. I'm not sure that your badge is a fake. The only difference that I can see between your badge and mine, which I know is legit, is that the letters within the scroll are stamped rather than in relief. Detroit PD has a history of being pretty casual in terms of uniform items, and their badges bear no makers name. I know that there are a lot of unauthorized copies seen on ebay, but I can assure you that there have also been a lot of unauthorized badges worn by police officers, on and off duty, They are very cheap badges to produce, and judging a piece's authenticity based of workmanship is futile. 

   The important thing to remember is that flashing that badge can get you into a Detroit Tigers ballgame gratis!



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I couldn't possibly let a Detrooit Police thread get past me without showing off a little. In the 1980s Smith & Wesson produced a boat-load of model 10 revolvers for the Detroit Police Dept. They're not too scarce yet, but finding one in un-fired condition is getting harder as time goes by. Years later, when DPD changed to semi-auto pistols, Glock made the same offer. 


Edited by Mike McLellan

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