Best LEGO Police Sets Guide: Building a Better Police Force

Latest posts by Logan Boese (see all)


There have been few things in life as constant as death and taxes. Among those are the passage of time and the presence of the police force. Few people know that better than LEGO does. 

The police have been a figure in LEGO towns for as long as there have been LEGO towns. Ironically, for much longer than LEGO, towns have had figures. Although it’s worth noting that one of the first LEGO minifigs was a police officer.

The first police force in America was formed in the early seventeen hundreds. LEGO police followed a mere two-hundred and fifty years later, but now almost seventy years ago.

Seven decades may not be three hundred years, but it’s still a long time. It’s long enough that LEGO has released literally hundreds of police-themed LEGO sets. 

Keep reading this best LEGO police sets guide to discover the top police sets available and learn more about them!

A History in Miniature

Aspiring LEGO masters are very familiar with the iconic minifig, but it didn’t burst into existence fully formed. It took over twenty years of design and refinement to become the icon it remains today. 

Interestingly, the history of LEGO minifigs is tied inexorably to LEGO’s Police Lines. They were created together, and they’ve evolved together. 

You see, it all began in 1956, with the release of the Traffic Police Set as a part of LEGO’s oncoming town designs.

The set comprised six pieces, including a traffic light and cone. However, the other four are four little policemen standing in different poses on top of a base that snaps over two LEGO studs.

This was not just the first appearance of a LEGO police figure but the first appearance of a human-like figure in the LEGO period. These are a long way from the minifigs we would get later (about twenty-two years later,) but the journey to them started right here. 

Of course, this is also the first time any kind of police theming was introduced to LEGO. Technically it was part of the town theming they were aiming for at the time, and the first line of Police sets wouldn’t appear for more than a decade. 

Growing Pains

Lego police heliport

The first police-themed building set didn’t release until 1972. The Police Heliport had no figures with it, and it was primarily ubiquitous black and white bricks included to build a police station that could also serve as a heliport. However, it did also have the bricks necessary to create the first-ever LEGO Police Cruiser. 

LEGO fans at the time weren’t limited in choices, however. Those who just wanted the car could buy it separately only a short time after. 

It was nineteen pieces and had some unique bricks that were emblazoned with the word “Police,” as well as a brick that had a grill and headlights attached. 

Their comparatively humble designs proved popular enough to merit their rerelease a year later and the ongoing line of police-themed products. 

1976 saw the release of a set of larger LEGO figurines with posable limbs. In recent years, they have been dubbed “Maxifigures.”

However, at the time, they were just called LEGO figures. They were an evolutionary dead-end on the path to the minifig, and they were only around for a short amount of time. However, even for the comparatively short time that the Maxifigures were being made, the police were still represented.

The First Patrol

For a long time, Police sets were released as part of the loose “Legoland” theming that dominated the sixties and seventies.

The sets in this “theme” were designed to create things LEGO users could find around their hometowns. The first police-themed sets were grounded and realistic during this period, except for their minifigs. 

By this point, LEGO had moved from the Maxifigs to a smaller design of the same scale as today’s minifigs. Superficially, they resemble the modern minifig in shape and scale. The word superficially is essential because this kind of pre-minifigs has always struck me as more than a little creepy. 

They have no faces and only vague impressions representative of arms or legs. The child’s imagination is supposed to fill them in.

For me, it falls right into the uncanny valley! These bizarre figures make me think of pod-people or some form of a ghost. They look incomplete. They’re vaguely person-shaped without looking like people. 

These almost-minifigs served as LEGO’s policemen in several sets, including the Police Launch, released in 1976. However, humanity’s nightmares would be freed of these abominations in 1978. 

Building a Better LEGO Officer

1978 saw significant changes within the world of LEGO. This was the year that saw the introduction of the first three actual themes for the company. 

They were “Castle” (my personal favorite), “Space,” and “Town .”Each of them saw a series of releases dedicated to bringing these settings to life in the colorful world of LEGO. The first releases also came with something extraordinary: actual LEGO minifigs.

The Castle sets came with knights. The Space set came with astronauts. The town set had policemen, and that was the one that was released first. 

The police were once again the flagship group of LEGO’s figures, and this time, they would prove more formative than ever. 

Assembling the Force of the Future

Lego police squad 6348

There were several years of transition as LEGO felt the reception of their new figures. When it was clear they wouldn’t have to go back to the drawing board to redesign them yet again, LEGO went all in.

An example of this can be seen in 1979’s Police Units set, which features an early police minifig, a motorcycle he can sit on to drive, and a cruiser he can’t. 

The new sets were designed around the minifigs. Everything was made to their scale. Vehicles were made for them to sit in. Buildings were created for them to be able to fit in. Everything was shaped around the minifigs.

Unfortunately, there was still one thing missing: a theme for the police to call their own. 

While this was never truly corrected, the police have often been considered a “subtheme” released under the “Town” theme and then the “City” theme.

However, the first set to be considered a part of the official police subtheme was 1981’s, Police Van. Hundreds more sets have followed since, and no terrain has proven a bar to the reach of the LEGO police. 

They’ve got vehicles that help them control the swamp, the skies, the seas, and even space itself. 

The LEGO world has expanded beyond its wildest dreams, and there’s almost no place LEGO police haven’t expanded to. 

And it all started with a set of humble police minifigs. 

Police Across the LEGO World

LEGO has released hundreds of sets focusing on the police in the seventy years since their introduction. Some of these exemplify the spirit of LEGO police better than others do. 

The following categories aren’t arranged in any particular order, with one big caveat. 

In each group, the one I feel is most significant or important is the last one in the order, including the set I chose at the end as the “best” set that LEGO has ever released. 

Ultimately, this is to give you a bit of understanding about the places LEGO has taken the police. A better way to say that is that it provides a brief overview of where LEGO will let children take the police. 

Best Police Cars

Police did their jobs on foot for hundreds of years. However, it’s hard to argue how much more effective police are when they’ve got access to easy transportation.

Police Car

Lego police car set 420
  • Year Released: 1973
  • Pieces Included: 19
  • Minifigs Included: 0
  • Approximate Skill Level: Beginner

This is the first Police Cruiser that LEGO released. It was small, straightforward, and really just an addendum to the first LEGO Police Station. 

It has nineteen pieces overall, including some of the earliest released transparent bricks to serve as windows for the cruiser. It wouldn’t take a modern builder long to assemble this, but that’s not what makes this special. 

Night Patroller

Lego night patroller set 6430
  • Year Released: 1991
  • Pieces Included: 140
  • Minifigs Included: 1
  • Approximate Skill Level: Moderate

A comparatively straightforward design that includes a single classic minifig working with a set of impromptu traffic cones. 

The vehicle is made up of typical black and white bricks. The most unique brick included is a wide, thin, flat piece emblazoned with the word police. Interestingly, although the set is branded as a “patroller,” the vehicle has six wheels, which is a feature that is more common in various police assault vehicles.  

Police Patrol 

Lego police patrol set 659
  • Year Released: 1975
  • Pieces Included: 49
  • Minifigs Included: “2″
  • Approximate Skill Level: Beginner

This is similar to the one above, except it was released two years later. You can see all the extra time they spent in development as well.

It doesn’t include a cruiser this time around. The set is labeled as a patrol, but it looks far more like a prisoner transport vessel accompanied by a motorcycle officer. “LEGO Prisoner Transport” probably wouldn’t have sold nearly as well. 

LEGO fans will immediately recognize the minifig shape but might be surprised to realize they have neither faces, arms, nor legs.

These are those creepy evolutionary midpoints I described earlier. Only a few years after this, LEGO designer Jens Nygaard Knudsen had the idea for interchangeable body parts, and we got the design we still use today. 

Police Chase

Lego police chase
  • Year Released: 2011
  • Pieces Included: 173
  • Minifigs Included: 3
  • Approximate Skill Level: Moderate

In the early 2010s, there were changes at LEGO and the wider world. 

One of those changes was in how the police got around. Laws were changed in some parts of the world, and police vehicles could get a little more snazzy.

Gone were the days of the old “Black-and-Whites .”The police still had plenty of monochrome cruisers, but a few departments experimented with their design scheme. The car here is an example of that change. It’s got the much sportier chassis that police were switching to. 

I don’t know what departments used Police Trikes, but LEGO has to LEGO. 

This set includes the pieces and minifig to make someone for the police to interact with because the police couldn’t very well arrest each other! 

Police Car

Police car lego set 600
  • Year Released: 1978
  • Pieces Included: 23
  • Minifigs Included: 1
  • Approximate Skill Level: Beginner

We’re getting into some real LEGO history with this one. 

This is another LEGO Police Cruiser design. It’s elementary and very quick to put together. It even includes some transparent bricks for the windshield. It is too small for the minifig accompanying it, however. 

Most LEGO sets today build everything to scale with the minifigs. However, this was the first LEGO set to have the iconic posable mini-figure. 

Not the first Police LEGO set to include the familiar minifig (though it was that as well). The very first LEGO set to have the minifig period. 

LEGO minifigs have come a long way since this first little policeman. They’re available in different races, with different faces, and even some alien species. But it all started here with this humble, blankly-smiling officer. 

Best Police Aircraft

Cars are fantastic, but there are more places in the heavens and the earth that land vehicles can’t reach. The LEGO police have plenty of tools to monitor the skies, but the ones that are best are below.

Jet Speed Justice

Lego jet speed justice set 6344
  • Year Released: 1993
  • Pieces Included: 157
  • Minifigs Included: 2
  • Approximate Skill Level: Beginner

You can practically hear the Magnum P.I. theme playing as you look at this set, and assembling it almost requires an eighties procedural playing in the background.  

Two police officers are clearly prepared to chase a criminal through the harbor. One is in a small, single-person jet (which is odd for the police force to have), while the other uses a light, high-speed watercraft. They’re made of pretty standard bricks in a black-and-white color scheme.

This is more about the fantasy of being a police officer than the reality. It evokes images of high-speed chases over the waves, which is not part of most police officers’ job descriptions. 

However, it’s perfect for anyone wanting to see what a LEGO Miami Vice set might look like.

Mission Commander

Lego mission commander set 6986
  • Year Released: 1989
  • Pieces Included: 473
  • Minifigs Included: 3
  • Approximate Skill Level: Advanced

The Space Police line happens when LEGO gets to be openly fantastical with its designs. 

Some of the entries before this are clearly indulging in the fantasy of police dramas from the eighties and nineties, and to a modern eye, they look silly.

The Space Police, however, was a science fiction concept to start with, and it makes for a better, more exciting product overall. This is right in the sweet spot between the Jet Pursuit era and the Space Police 2. 

This set still screams that it’s a police vehicle, having the familiar color scheme and air of authority of a police vehicle. It also has enough fantasy elements that children won’t get bored playing with it.

I personally always enjoyed the little hatch pieces, for instance. Perfect for shoving criminals, treasures, or really anything you want! 

Space Police Striker

Lego space police striker set 6781
  • Year Released: 1989
  • Pieces Included: 230
  • Minifigs Included: 2
  • Approximate Skill Level: Moderate

Society is reaching toward the stars every single day. It stands to reason that, eventually, a police force would be formed to regulate it.

This comes from LEGO’s first line of Space Police LEGO sets, imagining those space-faring lawmen of the future. I think these are more appropriate thematically.

They’re in a color scheme that’s far more similar to classic police colors, and they’ve even got the kind of utilitarian and militaristic design favored by police forces. 

Even without the plates, this one is reminiscent of a police vehicle. The build is also called the “Space Police Prisoner Transport,” and I think that one fits better.

I like how the transport box is designed. The transparent poles give it a very laser-jail feel that I absolutely adore. It’s just the right amount of eighties cheese for the design.  

Best Police Watercraft

Crime doesn’t fear the water, whether it’s a river, swamp, or open sea, so neither can police. LEGO didn’t shy away from giving their police forces tools to deal with the watery world.

Police Swamp Boat

lego police swamp boat
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Pieces Included: 20
  • Minifigs Included: 1
  • Approximate Skill Level: Beginner

Even Swamps will not stop the devoted police officer!

This simple little pontoon boat design includes a unique minifig and a couple of uncommon bricks. It’s quick and straightforward to put together and is mainly intended to serve as an addition to the rest of your LEGO navy. 

I love the little light bar included on this because the idea of a police officer driving a fan boat, blaring lights in case there’s too much traffic on the bayou, makes me giggle. 

Police Launch

Lego police launch set 314
  • Year Released: 1976
  • Pieces Included: 53
  • Minifigs Included: 2
  • Approximate Skill Level: Beginner

This set is a more grounded view of what the Jet Speed Pursuit was going for. 

It’s a few policemen on the kind of police boat you’d see in the average harbor. An effortless design that includes a huge singular piece that can’t really be used for anything else.

It’s great for boats, but the big POLICE on the side ruin it for anything that’s not police boats. Later builds would rectify this problem with more common bricks and other uncommon brick shapes. 

Unfortunately, it also has those creepy pre-minifigs I was talking about. As you can see, no arms, legs, or faces exist. Just Fear. A great big heaping helping of fear. 

Pier Police

Lego pier police set 6540
  • Year Released: 1991
  • Pieces Included: 352
  • Minifigs Included: 4
  • Approximate Skill Level: Moderate

Police boats eventually need a harbor to dock in. It only took LEGO another fifteen years to create it. 

Fortunately, time is like the tides in that it never stops. In the intervening time, the less creepy minifigs were released, so the police officers in this set look MUCH Less like aliens.

The boat, unfortunately, still includes at least one piece that’s not useful for any build that isn’t a police boat. The same can’t be said of the other vehicles in this set

While some of the others have police markings, it’s impressive how easily those can be removed. Most of the time, they’re just plate pieces that don’t have to get used. A few of them have the word marked on the door, but they still work nicely for this set. 

Best Police Stations

After a long day, policemen need a place to return to. They need a place to gather together, share information, and keep the equipment they’re not using. What police drama would be complete without a scene at headquarters showing the maverick officers getting chewed out by their superiors? 

Police Headquarters

Lego police headquarters set 381
  • Year Released: 1979
  • Pieces Included: 372
  • Minifigs Included: 4
  • Approximate Skill Level: Moderate

By the time they released this design, it was clear that they had a little more faith in their new minifigs.

All police vehicles included with this set are to scale with the figs. That means every policeman in this headquarters has their own personal vehicle! That is, except for the air traffic controller. But without him, the helicopter wouldn’t be able to land, so his job is too important for him to leave. 

I really like this set because it’s not just black and white bricks. The vehicles are mostly made of black and white bricks, sure. But the building is constructed of greens and yellows in addition to the white. It makes for a much more appealing design overall. 

Police Command Base

lego police command base set 6386
  • Year Released: 1986
  • Pieces Included: 381
  • Minifigs Included: 4
  • Approximate Skill Level: Advanced

This is an important evolutionary step for LEGOs police sets. Here, we can see it move past its origins and take a few steps forward. 

All of the police minifigs have vehicles that they can fit and ride around in. All vehicles have parts that actually move rather than just in the builder’s imagination. They’re also made of a combination of standard bricks and pieces that can only be used for this build. 

It’s an excellent design with a lot of intricacy and play options. The worst part is that some of the minifigs look precisely alike. They still look much better than the pod-person minifigs available a decade before this sets release. 

Police Station

lego police station
  • Year Released: 2021
  • Pieces Included: 2923
  • Minifigs Included: 5
  • Approximate Skill Level: Expert

This set is from the ICONS line. 

The creations from the ICONS were conceived by LEGO fans and gathered enough support to have actual sets produced by LEGO. 

That’s part of why this is my favorite of all the Police Headquarters-type LEGO sets. Everything about this design is unique, from the design to the minifigs. It looks like a building that you could actually find. It’s also not just made of black and white bricks. It’s colorful and has plenty of bricks that can be used in other designs.

Best Police Minifigs

Police and Minifigs are inexorably linked within the realm of LEGO. Police officers have been the first choice for new models and minifigs since miniatures were introduced to LEGO. 

Bulldozer Break-In

Lego bulldozer break-in
  • Year Released: 2017
  • Pieces Included: 561
  • Minifigs Included: 5
  • Approximate Skill Level: Moderate

I enjoy heist movies, but some of the contrivances necessary for the plot irritated me. I always thought there had to be a more direct method for breaking into a bank than all the nonsense they used. 

The bank robbers in this clearly thought the same and decided to just use a bulldozer. 

There’s a time for subtlety and a time for expediency, right? 

This job needed a LITTLE bit more of the former and less of the latter. The burglars’ plan to get in clearly worked, but now the police are there with an armored vehicle to meet them AND a helicopter to pursue them on the off chance they get away. 

There are a lot of great bricks in this, and the minifigs are unique to this set

Police Dog Unit

Lego police dog unit
  • Year Released: 2014
  • Pieces Included: 249
  • Minifigs Included: 3
  • Approximate Skill Level: Beginner

Technically this includes three minifigs, all unique to this set. That’s only if you don’t count the included dogs and rat figurines as minifigs. 

Which is a shame because they are ADORABLE! 

This is a criminal’s hideout. They’ve got their little shack and their broken-down old truck. They’ve also got their crate full of random gold pieces and treasures. Then comes the policeman with his handcuffs, two dogs, and a prisoner transport vehicle. 

I like this one because it has a lot of unique minifigs, and many of the more common bricks aren’t just black and white. 

Jailbreak Joe

Lego jailbreak joe set 1786
  • Year Released: 1995
  • Pieces Included: 186
  • Minifigs Included: 4
  • Approximate Skill Level: Moderate

Two criminals are on the lam, and two policemen are following them. Everyone has some vehicle to move around in and many opportunities for people to play with. 

What’s unique about it is that this marks the point where LEGO has really embraced the spirit of showing police officers and criminals interacting. It gives LEGO police a chance to catch the bad guy with children’s assistance. 

Traffic Police Set

lego traffic police set 1271
  • Year Released: 1956
  • Pieces Included: 6
  • Minifigs Included: “4″
  • Approximate Skill Level: Beginner

This is where it all began.

This is not just the first appearance of a LEGO police figure, but the first appearance of a LEGO figure. These are a long way from the minifigs we would get later (about twenty-two years later,) but that journey started right here. 

This set has six pieces, two of which are a traffic light and a traffic cone. The other four are four little policemen standing in different poses on top of a base that snaps over two LEGO studs (because at least that much has stayed the same). 

Paragon of LEGO Police

Surveillance Squad

Lego surveillance squad set 6348
  • Year Released: 1994
  • Pieces Included: 311
  • Minifigs Included: 3
  • Approximate Skill Level: Beginner

This is peak LEGO policing right here. 

Three mini-figures sit within their listening truck. It’s made of a ton of white bricks with a transparent blue windshield brick. The white bricks are usable in many other designs, but that’s not why this takes the top spot. 

This set sits right in the middle of my childhood, and that definitely got it some favoritism. It’s more than that, though. This has the right balance of fun, levity, fantasy, and creativity that LEGO has.

The concept is clearly based on an idea we can find in reality. Police have listening trucks they employ. They don’t look like this (it would defeat the point.) But the emblazoned police livery and the smiling mini-figures are clearly LEGO having fun with the concept without getting extreme.

The minifigs from this set also have one that’s clearly an equipment operator but could also double as a chief. There’s one that looks like a uniformed officer. Then there’s the unique one that looks like a driver. All of the bricks involved in this could be used to rebuild almost any other police vehicle you could want. 

In other words, this is a small set that lets you have it all regarding LEGO police. I’m not saying this is the best police set that LEGO has ever made. 

But I also wouldn’t argue either.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Why didn’t You Include this Set or that Set?

Answer: LEGO has made hundreds of Police Sets. I didn’t have space to include them all!

Question: What was the First LEGO Police Set?

Answer: That would be theĀ Traffic Police Set!

Question: What’s the Best Released in the Last Year?

Answer: TheĀ Police Training Academy set. It has plenty of pieces of different colors, a good mix of common and uncommon bricks, and multiple minis, including a horse!


LEGO has been making sets dedicated to the police for almost the length of a human lifetime. It’s a popular theme for a reason. Children have been fascinated with police and people who have protected others from time immemorial.

That isn’t going to change anytime soon, so the people of LEGO land can rest easy knowing that, even in space, they’ll always be watched over by the LEGO police. 

Children can rest assured that there will always be new LEGO police sets to let them play through scenarios of catching the bad guys. 

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