Each one of us has witnessed a law enforcement official maintaining peace and order in the streets. We see these officers wearing their uniforms, and we can easily identify them because they usually wear specialized law enforcement badges.

A law enforcement badge is an insignia that identifies a certain individual as a member of the police force. It specifies the location of the officer’s jurisdiction and has a unique set of numbers that differentiates one officer from other officers in the same department. The badges also display the rank of the officer. Each department has a different badge design.

You will notice that there are generally two common shapes in law enforcement badges: the star and the shield. It is not mandatory, but usually, county sheriffs wear badges that are shaped as a star. Some of the star badges have a crescent border surrounding them. Other badges are shaped like shields. But what really differentiates one badge from another is the city seal. Note that there are no standard rules about what a badge should look like. These are just the common designs that we see.

The different designs sometimes make it difficult to identify not only the affiliation of the law enforcers we meet, but also the authenticity of the badges that they carry. There are companies that manufacture replicas of law enforcement badges. Though these copies are generally sold as collectibles or costume accessories, there are people who acquire these fake badges with the intention of impersonating police officers and deceiving victims.