Cops & Superstitions

Cops generally don't come across as a particularly superstitious bunch. They are usually perceived as tough, dedicated, no nonsense, get ’er done kind of group. However, the police culture does indeed include plenty of superstitions.

Superstitions are something we often learn in childhood.  If your Mom or Dad was superstitious there is a good chance that you are, and that you have their same superstitions.  The older you get, the less superstitious you get as well.  In general, women are more superstitious than men (when was the last time you saw an astrology column in a men's magazine?).  Intelligence does not seem to be a factor in contributing to superstitiousness. 

Most superstitions are harmless and even may be helpful in encouraging people to achieve their goals.  However, others may have serious consequences. Superstitious beliefs about luck may lead to problem gambling or other risky behavior.  And magical beliefs in alternative medical practices over traditional treatment can lead to grave illness or even death. Additionally, this type of magical thinking can also hinder your performance.  Your world will not end, if say, you lose your lucky object.  Research has not been able to find any definitive connection between superstitions and mental illness. 

The greatest benefit of superstitious thinking or behavior (like carrying your lucky cuffs) is gaining and maintaining a sense of security and confidence.  Now if you rely on your superstitions over your training and instincts you are really going to find yourself in a pickle.  Obviously, unless the really bad guy’s bullet hits your lucky rabbit’s foot which deflects it, you better have another plan.  Otherwise, enjoy your healthy superstitions.  Halloween is traditionally the most superstitious time of the year.  The good news is we only have one more Friday the 13th this year (December) and one next year (June).  The bad news is that June 13, 2014 is also a full moon.

6 Superstitions That Could Really Help an Officer (yes….these are real)

  1. Guard your dead body:  do not let a cat jump over a corpse; else the corpse would rise from the dead.
  2. Watch where you walk during prowler calls: if you pop an inflatable toy you will have bad luck for the remainder of your life.
  3. Remember your body stances and squat:  do not bend down and look between your legs (you will see a ghost).
  4. Break down those doors:  never enter a house through the window else bad luck will come to that house (and it is on your beat).
  5. Just in case:  keep a dry frog in a bag and wear it with you all time, it will keep epilepsy away from you.
  6. Stand back after calling for the medics:  seeing an ambulance brings bad luck, unless you pinch your nose right away or hold your breath until you see a brown or a black dog (not applicable to canine handlers).

Dear Readers:  I want you all to know that this will be my last article because I am going to die at midnight tonight as a result of not forwarding chain mail.  Pam


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