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  • Writing to request patches?

    I've just started writing to various agencies to request patches. Since I'm not a LEO and only have a few patches to trade should I even bother writing? I've seen a few agencies post instructions and rules for requesting on their webpages but for the most part I can't find very many guidelines. Also, should I include a self addressed stamped envelope or would that just be a waste of stamps? Thus far I've only been sending letters explaining who I am and why I'm requesting patches. Thanks in advance for your input!
    NYPD
    Exam 2302

    Playing the waiting game

  • #2
    Most depts in my area either don't give out patches at all or will only trade with other officers/ depts. I would suggest calling the station to see if they do honor requests and, if so, send them a letter along with the SASE.
    Originally posted by Ceridwen
    Just one would be stingy of me, I'd have to get two. For the children.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dontknowwhy View Post
      Most depts in my area either don't give out patches at all or will only trade with other officers/ depts. I would suggest calling the station to see if they do honor requests and, if so, send them a letter along with the SASE.
      Great reply. Follow that advice^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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      • #4
        years and years ago, when I was 14, I decided to start writing agencies to request patches. I explained in a short letter that I was a teenager who collects police memorabilia blah blah blah and requested a shoulder patch for my collection. I would probably send out 5 letters a week. If I had the agency's address, good. If not, I would write "Random Police Dept., Random, TX 12345" (obviously with actual information) and see if it got there. It always did.

        I mailed out hundreds of letters and only had a few write back saying they didn't give out patches. Then I had a couple who requested one in trade. And then, Denver required that I be a police officer and give my department's patch in trade. So, I kept the letter until many years later I was a police officer, and sent them my patch and got one back.

        I wouldn't even bother calling first. Just mail a letter, and be done with it. If they won't give one out, you're only out a 44-cent stamp. They'll write you back and you'll either get a F-U letter or a patch. No harm, no foul.

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        • #5
          FWIW, my agency's patches cost around $5 each. Mine is a large department and we get several thousand patch requests each year. Simple math tells you that we don't have tens of thousands of dollars in our budget necessary to fund those patch requests. While smaller agencies may get fewer requests, the impact on their budgets is still proportionate. Because we are required to respond to all correspondence sent us, we are forced to spend several thousand dollars each year on postage alone, sending out letters to people denying patch requests. This is money that could be better spent elsewhere.

          As a side note, my state's Constitution prohibits government agencies from making a gift of public funds or of items purchased with public funds. I suspect your state has a similar provision in its Constitution. Wait for the next police collector's show in your area of the country, go there and buy the patches you need.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            When I started writing random requests about 20 years ago, I received a fairly decent response in terms of patches received. I was also a police officer, so that probably helped. I hate to sound like an old fart, but in this day and age, don't expect to get many patches. You'd be better off taking your stamp money and hitting ebay for some patches.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by just joe View Post
              When I started writing random requests about 20 years ago, I received a fairly decent response in terms of patches received. I was also a police officer, so that probably helped. I hate to sound like an old fart, but in this day and age, don't expect to get many patches. You'd be better off taking your stamp money and hitting ebay for some patches.
              Yeah, the times have changed recently. But I have fond memories of coming home from school and finding a few envelopes from around the country with patches in them. I still have all of them, and pick up a couple from new places from time to time. I need to find a way to display them, as they're all just crammed in a box right now.

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              • #8
                Check ebay...or better yet some members sell off their patch collection in the trading post section.

                What L-1 said....5 bucks a pop times numerous requests. Good luck but don't expect depts to respond. Actually most patches are purchased at the uniform store...and not available at any station.
                This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

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