Badges in many cop shows are generic, with just the words "Police" and the car decals are the same. Police forces may well be fictional, even if they are in a real place. In some localities this is actually a legal requirement to prevent props or vehicles being misused.

Related is a British TV trope in which London bobbies' epaulette numbers will have a letter "O" in their two letter code -- e.g. SO 171 (Reg Hollis in ''Series/TheBill''). There are no divisions with "O" in their two letter code in the RealLife Metropolitan Police.



* ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' (2007 Movie): In a clever usage and in keeping with series tradition, the department emblem on Barricade's police car form is actually a Decepticon crest. Also, the motto on his side reads "To punish and enslave".
* In ''Film/BlueThunder'', the squad cars have a huge "Metropolitan Police" decal on the front doors.
* In ''SWAT'', the cops wear the generic "Metropolitan Police" badge.

* The British CopShow ''Mersey Beat'', despite its being set near Liverpool, is under an area called "North West County Police".
* ''Series/StarskyAndHutch'', anyone?
* ''Series/TheShield'', after its first episode, not only uses fake badges, but places them on the wrong side of the uniform, at the request of the [=LAPD=] (due to the portrayal of the cops as...less than upstanding).
** In one of the episodes, Shane is mugged in Mexico and loses his badge. For the next several episodes until he is discovered, he uses a counterfeit one. A fake of a fake.
* Exceptions:
** Joe Friday's badge in ''Franchise/{{Dragnet}}'' is a ''real'' [=LAPD=] badge, and its badge number (714) is officially assigned to the fictional detective. The badge number was retired when his actor, Jack Webb died, and he was buried with a replica of it.
** The badges used on ''Series/AdamTwelve'' were also real -- the series' police consultant would bring the badges to the set every day, and then take them back to LAPD Headquarters after filming was done.
* ''Series/TheBill'' is another exception, and is allowed to use real Met Police decals and badges.
* ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'' tried to avert this - then realised too late that Greater Manchester Police are ''not'' the Metropolitan Police. As a result, Sam Tyler's badge is digitally genericised on the DVD release.
* The crew of ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' call attention to this when the "Desert Patrol" shows up in ''Eegah''.
* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in ''Series/PoliceSquad''; marked police cruisers are seen only in the background; they are highly official-looking black-and-white full-size sedans, very authentic except that the door decals read "POLICE CAR".
* When ''Series/MythBusters'' tested a story of a police badge stopping a bullet, they got test badges from the company that makes the real thing, but genericised (and personalized with the show's name).
* This trope is how the title character of ''Furuhata Ninzaburou'' catches on that [[spoiler: the supposed police officer he is talking to is an imposter]]--the other man doesn't notice that the badge Furuhata shows him [[spoiler: is a prop (long story)]].

* Webcomic/AxeCop has his own badge with a picture of an axe and some handcuffs. The motto is, of course, "I'll chop your head off!"