Cop Stereotypes: Are you one?

You know everyone is looking at you when you are on the job, but do you stand out like a beacon even when you are off-duty and dressed like everyone else?

  • My work shoes are good all around shoes. I wear them when I am not at work. They especially go well with suits.
  • My other favorite pair of footwear is white athletic trainers and/or flip-flops.
  • I always carry a backup gun. Even off-duty. Even at the beach.
  • (For men only) I own one suit. I bought it sometime in the late 90s and figure I can get another ten or fifteen years out of it. Besides, it goes really well with my boots.
  • (For women only) I own one dress or skirt. I wore it once to a department function and no one recognized me! I only got it because it was on clearance.
  • I cut my hair at home with clippers I bought at a store. Stylists are for metrosexuals. (Add 1 bonus point if you use the same clippers on the dog)
  • Maximum hair length allowed is ¾ inch. Anything longer is for hippies and Democrats!
  • Looking in my closet, my clothes are polo shirts, oversize sweatshirts, jeans, t-shirts, workout clothes and nothing else. Shirts are never worn tucked in, in order to hide my gun. (Add 2 points if you own one or more Hawaiian shirts, just because it is such a cliché!)
  • The colors of my wardrobe are blue, grey, brown and black. Once in awhile I go big and wear red.
  • Facial hair is for undercover officers and people who are lazy (except for mustaches... mustaches are OK).
  • Sunglasses of choice? Oakley, of course.
  • I listen to the scanner at home.
  • When eating in a restaurant, I must sit where I can watch the door.
  • I consider beer an essential food group.
  • I go to Hooters for the food.
  • My car is All-American, such as Ford, GM, or Dodge. Even though some "American" cars are made in Mexico, and some Hondas in Ohio, it's still USA All The Way!
  • Gum chewing is an essential job function.
  • I never smile when my picture is taken, but put on my "cop face." Even at weddings.
  • I talk to everyone in an interview stance, because you never know who you will have to fight.
  • My favorite show as a rookie was Cops. My favorite show as a veteran is Reno 911. I swear they stole those characters from my department.
  • One of the characters was based on me!
  • "Hey, be safe" is how I end every encounter and conversation with other cops.
  • I call everyone I don't know "ma'am" or "sir" out of habit.
  • Whenever a police drama like Law & Order or CSI does not follow procedure, I yell at the TV. (Add 1 bonus point if you have ever gotten so upset you wrote the show's producer a scathing E-mail)
  • I refuse to watch a movie unless there is a car chase, someone bleeds, guns are fired, or someone is taken hostage.
  • I cannot understand how some people miss the obvious humor in stories involving the unique ways humans manage to meet their maker and advanced decomposition.


0 - 7 points Congratulations! You are most likely laid back, able to leave work at the end of your shift, and able to relate to the non-cop world very well. Just be sure to not be too laid back at work.

8 - 12 points You are probably still able to relate to the non-cop world, but be careful not to slip too far into stereotypical behavior. Maybe you should go out and get a new suit. Or a Subaru.

13 - 20 points You need to work on getting back some balance. May we suggest taking the spouse out to see a (brace yourself) romantic comedy or musical. Desperate measures for desperate times, you know.

21 or more points Whoa, easy there Tackleberry! Actually, it is probably too late for you to dial it back. Just embrace your total immersion into "copness" and use it for the common good. Just always be on guard against burnout, as you may have fewer resources or outlets to combat it.

And be safe.

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