Use of the term "cop" to refer to a police officer came about because a "copper" is someone who captures or seizes something in English slang. The word "cop" came to mean apprehension in the mid-19th century, and since police officers often capture or seize criminals, English officers came to be known as "coppers." The tradition spread to the United States, and eventually it was shortened to "cop."Know More
There are a number of apocryphal theories concerning the true origin of the term "cop." One of the most common theories suggests that it is an acronym for "constable on patrol," but there is no historical or etymological evidence to back up this interpretation. Most acronym-based words entered the language in the 20th century, and police officers have been called cops or coppers for much longer. Another common misconception is that the term refers to copper buttons that an officer would wear on his uniform, but this is similarly unsupported by any historical evidence.
Police officers have been called coppers since at least 1846, and by 1859, the shortened term entered common use. Before 1846, police officers in England were referred to as "Bobbies," named after Sir Robert Peel, the creator of the first Metropolitan Police force in London in 1828.Learn more in Law Enforcement
The police are referred to as "5-0" based on the title of an elite police unit in the popular crime drama "Hawaii 5-0". The show ran from 1968 to 1980. The "5-0" crime-fighting team was well-recognized and popular with viewers.Full Answer >
Police subculture is a distinctive set of beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors that are shared amongst the majority of officers working in police organizations. In the view of the FBI, most officers learn and become a part of this subculture during the early part of their careers. Being a member of this subculture provides emotional and mental support for officers facing a range of stressful situations.Full Answer >
Discretion is a police officer's option to use his judgment to interpret the law as it applies to misdemeanor crimes. The laws that apply to felony crimes, such as murder, are black and white. Laws that apply to misdemeanor crimes can be a gray area for police officers, allowing them to exercise their good judgment and determine whether a crime is serious enough to carry the maximum punishment.Full Answer >
Most police officers work eight-hour shifts each day, but some police departments run 10- and 12-hour shift rosters. In a typical eight-hour system, there are three shifts rotating over a 24-hour period.Full Answer >