Anyone who has done this job has heard those words yelled, muttered, mumbled or stated outright.

I was standing in line recently at a store and a gentleman was purchasing two ‘tall boys’ of his favorite beer.  The clerk asked if he wanted a bag and he replied, “No I’m going to drink them….”

He then turned around and looked at me (insert pregnant pause …) “Yeah I better get a bag, that dude’s probably a cop!”  I laughed, the clerk laughed and the guy wasn’t sure what his next move should be. So, he grabbed his bag, nodded his head and walked out.

I don’t know, maybe it’s the haircut or, maybe it’s the way we carry ourselves. Who knows?  Some of us are easy to spot.  You got us. It is what it is!

 

FRIENDS SHOW US OFF

 

We all have that one friend that no matter where we go or who they introduce you to the first words out of their mouth after telling them your name is, “He’s a cop.”  Now, most of the time, our friends don’t mean anything negative by doing that.

It’s not to call us out intentionally or try to shame us by divulging our profession.  Most of us, if asked, will tell people what we do. But, there are times we would just like it to remain unsaid.

The reasons for that may range from the people we are with or our location.  We may not want to disclose our employment due to known criminals being in earshot or just the plain fact that it has no bearing on anything.  Most officers pay attention to their surroundings on and off duty. Most of us don’t want to be identified unless there is a legitimate reason.



 

There is also a select group of people who want to be our friends solely because we’re a cop. There is another segment who wants nothing to do with us for that very same reason.

Some people love to say they “know a cop” so it appears they have connections to law enforcement.  These people love to name drop and make it known that their “friend is a cop.”

Normally it’s not a major issue. But, there are times when you are trying to enjoy yourself and when you are introduced that way, it spoils it.  As soon as some people find out what you do, the tidal wave of questions follow. They range from, “What’s the scariest thing you have done?” to, “My cousin is a cop in Arkansas, do you know him?”

I’ve concluded that civilians think that all cops know every other cop on the planet. <grin> I like to pull their chain and say something like, “Yeah, I had dinner with him last week,” or really get them going with, “Sure, I passed him in the locker room yesterday.”

 

THE ‘CHICK’ MAGNET

There is a term every cop has heard (and maybe used). It is: ‘badge bunnies’ which is used to describe a select group of people (usually female) who are attracted to male cops just because they are cops.

It is thought that this sorority of admirers will attach themselves in an attempt to date officers simply because of the badge he carries. (As a rookie, I thought it was because I was cute.)  Let me be clear, I’m not condemning this faction of society by any means, not at all, in any way, no way, no how!

I believe it’s human nature to judge people based on an assortment of criteria, looks, personality, socioeconomic status, and yes, employment, to name a few of the attributes.  To dislike someone or favor someone solely based on an occupation is truly ‘judging the book by its cover.’  Just because someone is an officer doesn’t automatically make them someone you may want to be around.

 

THE TREASURE OF THE BADGE

The badges we wear vary in shape, size, color and composition. The same can be said about the officers who wear them.  What civilians need to realize is that it’s not the badge that makes the person, but the person who makes the badge.

Try to get know these officers for their kindness, sacrifice, personality, how they treat people and who they are, not what they wear.

Our badges are sacred to us. They are symbolic of something extremely sacred and important. The most important thing is who the badge is attached to.

 

 “Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “

We couldn’t agree more.

 


 

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