They were on patrol in Broxtowe, Nottinghamshire, England when they spotted the Humboldt penguin in a village street in the early hours of Sunday.
The bird, nicknamed Po-Po, had escaped from a farm enclosure in Strelley and then managed to waddle a mile up the road.
Police stuck their beak in and the penguin was returned to its owner.
PC Gareth Philp said they nicknamed the penguin Po-Po after "he posed for some pictures with us and he was very friendly with our officers".
Last year a pair of stolen penguins were rescued by officers in Strelley.
In January 2019 police acted on a tip-off and rescued the birds, and arrested a 23-year-old man from Preston on suspicion of burglary.
Native to South America, Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti) are named after the current of water in which they swim, which takes its name from Prussian explorer Alexander von Humboldt.
While not currently endangered they are listed as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which means they are at immediate or imminent risk of becoming endangered.