18 Secrets We Never Knew About Being An American Police Officer

The men in blue have had their fair share of controversy. With the Blue Lives Matter movement going on, it’s easy to see these issues matter to people. But no matter who you are, you know that bad, unjust things happen to officers and that there are also hundreds of crooked cops out there – some that give other police officers a bad name. But there are also cops in America that are so good and courageous, that we’d like to honor them whatever way we can.

To get a look inside the life of a real cop, listen to these secrets that were not meant to be shared.

To get an idea of what America thinks of cops, let’s look at cops in movies. We have the progressive duo known as Lee and Carter from Rush Hour. They break all stereotypes by working together and showing the world the kind of cops we need. Then Training Day showed us every kind of cop known to man – specifically, the horrible Alonzo. Then we have the ones we all dream of, like Robocop! Then we have idiotic various cops in Police Academy. There are hundreds more and we all have favorites that make us love the men in blue. But we also have those that make us unable to trust another officer for as long as we live.

But we think it’s time to get real now. Those are all movie cops, not real cops. Real cops are people like you and me, with a life that you can’t even imagine! To get a look inside the life of a real cop, listen to these secrets that were not meant to be shared.

18. Most Cops Avoid Their Weapons As Much As Possible

Although many just assume that cops love to pull out their gun, this is simply not the case. They prefer to use any other means necessary, like their favorite, which is the power of persuasion. One rather trusty officer had this to say: “The vast majority of cops have never [resorted to using extreme means against] anyone, but most cops can recite a detailed list of people who are/were deserving because they posed a threat. This means that most cops have successfully defused a potentially dangerous confrontation using only words and less-lethal weapons.”

Most officers really do want the people to change, to stop what they are doing. They want them to find what they are looking for in the crime that they have committed. Only they know there are other ways to find it that doesn’t involve breaking the law. And no, they don’t always carry their gun when off duty. They want to be as far away from such things as possible when living their life.

17. Confiscation Is Often Shady Business

You know how your friend got raided and his entire stash was confiscated? Where do you think that stash went? You may imagine it sitting at the station in a lockbox or in some lab somewhere being studied. Maybe it was shipped to California to use for medical purposes? Who knows? Any of those things could happen. But in some cases, the answer is much more sinister. Many cops in the States have admitted to collecting illegal substances. Of course they use the words, “used to.” The truth of the matter is, they often use these confiscated substances. One brave cop said, “The secret is that 90% of cops do this.”

One rather rare technique involves selling them illegally. If you’re caught, you just say you were undercover and trying to figure out who was selling the stuff in the area. Smooth.

16. Many Secretly Lie On Reports

This isn’t a surprise, but it’s inevitable. Many officers have admitted to lying, or even changing what was stated on reports, such as what was said when the criminal was arrested. When it reaches court and you say that’s not what happened, then it’s your word against theirs. Since you’re a criminal and they are a law-abiding police officer serving the United States of America, guess who wins?

The reason they would do this depends on if they are prejudiced and how your arrest went. You may have told them off in a rage, causing them to want to get you back. They may not like the color of your skin or your age. They may just be having a bad day at home. And of course, they may just not like you. Officers have the power to make you look as bad as possible, and sometimes, they will do it. They want you in jail for as long as the crime will allow.

15. Cops Expect To Be Widely Hated

The majority of people hate police officers in America. It isn’t something many Americans are proud of, but as Taylor Swift would say, there’s just too much “bad blood” between certain groups of people. What you may not realize is that this isn’t true for every country. But it is 100% for certain in the States. In the UK, discrimination when it comes to the police force is not something that hits the headlines.

But as we stated in the previous entry, in the States, there is tension between many civilians and officers. Those who are arrested will take out their personal aggressions on officers just because of one bad encounter with a cop you don’t even know. This goes both ways. People on the streets and even your average, middle class citizen will absolutely hate any officer they meet, and cops will pick a “type” that they think they know so well. When in actuality, both sides are far too judgmental.

14. They Have Secret Unwritten Codes

You know there are those codes like “2219” and “Code Red,” but did you know that there are more… personal codes as well? There are certain things that aren’t even official that cops use as a guide as to whether someone is guilty or how the situation stands. For instance, “just a couple of drinks” means, “I’m really, really out of it.”

There are many different codes for different illegal activity that cops engage in, as well. Cops are smart about this kind of stuff and they really would rather you tell them the truth. But if not, they will arrest you for lying about your situation. If you left your kid in the car for “30 seconds,” they know what that means too.

13. People Post Images Of You On Social Media Without Your Consent

Whether it’s in an anonymous, “this idiot cop pulled me over today,” or a video of an arrest, having people ridicule you is an everyday thing for cops. But when they decide to take a video of an assault instead of stopping it before you get there, it’s extremely irritating. Many cops (the good ones) encourage people to take videos when they are doing pretty much anything. They want people to know that they are doing a good job serving the community. But when you take a video of someone getting hurt, they want to take everyone who opened that camera to jail.

Also, when you stand in their way just to get a good shot, they want to whip out that baton. Bottom line is, there’s a time and place for everything. Be smart enough to figure out when it’s a good time to pull out that smart phone and go to town.

12. Cops Hate Other Cops

Most of the time, as in any other job, there is someone in your county that is an absolute pain. This isn’t a repeated offender or criminal, as those are everywhere and you kind of understand them. That’s “their job,” in a way, to be a pain in your behind. But this other kind of pain is much worse because there’s every reason for it to be peaceful. This pain is another officer. The worst part is you are forced to back him up. If you don’t, he won’t get any respect from others inmates, and that’s on you.

So if he makes a bad call, as long as it doesn’t put anyone in true danger, you have to respect him in front of others. That’s one of the secret police codes. When you see criminals getting mistreated by cops, most of the time, the other cops want to stop the assaulter, but they aren’t allowed to. It creates discord when you argue with other officers and gives you a one-way ticket out of there.

11. They Flash Lights For A Chase

This is a funny little trick that everyone needs to know, especially those who get nervous when they see a police car. And no, getting nervous doesn’t mean you’re guilty, it means you have trust issues. To cope with those issues, listen to this. One cop admitted that when he is in the shadier parts of town or when he’s looking for someone, he turns on his lights. That way, when someone is up to no good, they get scared, and sometimes even run away.

It isn’t hard to spot the innocent and the shady when you have the siren blasting. Those who stare at the lights, look concerned, or gather their kids around them, is probably not up to anything too awful at the moment. Those who retreat, run, or try to hide are total giveaways as to who is in need of questioning. They won’t arrest you for it on the spot, but they will try to question you.

10. There Are Many Friend Breakups

When you’re in college, you might have watched your roommate do illegal things and drive over the speed limit every day. Despite this, they could have been your best buddy. When you become a cop, you’re forced to leave them behind. Why? Because if you know what they’re doing, you have to stop them, maybe even arrest them. The best thing to do is to “not know them” so you end up breaking up with them. You pretty much would have to live life turning a blind eye to their illegal activity if you didn’t, and that’s not something you can do after going through training.

If you did this, you’d have to ignore everyone that has ever done anything that you ignored from your friend. This makes it impossible to draw the line. And thus, your friendship must go if you want to become a cop. It isn’t an easy thing to do, but ask any cop and they will tell you that they’ve let go of people for this very reason.

9. They Break The Law Too

Almost everyone in the country (and every other country) has broken a law at some point, and that includes police officers. So it isn’t a surprise to hear that sometimes, policemen go to jail. And on those rare occasions, they go to prison.

Oftentimes, you see that cops let each other off the hook if they catch them breaking the law. But in actuality, they have the right to turn them in. And sometimes, they do! Especially if it’s someone that they don’t like. There are many occasions where this costs them their badge, and a few where it loses them their freedom. When cops go to prison, they are put in special units where they must be alone. This is for their protection, because if you are with other inmates and they find out you’re a former cop… things are not pretty. Undercover cops are the bane of the inmates’ existence.

8. Moonlighting Pays The Bills

You probably would hate to work alongside an officer off the clock. But as one sheriff said, “This is really the only way to make money in our profession.” Sometimes, the second jobs are pretty shady, and they would never let the other officers know what they did. But sometimes, it’s so mundane and ordinary. That’s a sad truth about being a police officer. You don’t make that much money. You’re on call almost your entire life, and you make $50,000-$60,000 a year. People assume you’re living the high life, but you’re really spending hours and hours away from your family, hiding your tragic and tought days, and making the same as someone without any formal training.


It can be hard at times to come face to face with all this, especially when you’re working that second job. Being an officer is way easier when you have no life to go home to.

7. Dating Is Impossible

Think about it. The reputation of a crooked cop alone is enough to steer anyone away from those with hearts of gold. But if you’re a male police officer, you’ll approach girls, and they will be too afraid to flirt with you. If you’re a female police officer, you’ll really intimidate guys who don’t have the guts to date a female who is stronger and more authoritative than them.

As for the officer’s side of things, dating someone outside of the force is hard. They will always feel like you’re overbearing and eyeing them over every little detail. No one wants to be with an officer in this country every single day; it’s like you’re constantly watching your back. You’ll likely be safer than someone who is dating someone who is engaging in organized crime, but safe on whose account? There are always two sides to the story.

6. There Are Corrupt Cops

As expected, some American officers are so corrupt that other officers want them gone. When a “good cop” was asked how to tell if an officer is corrupt, he said, “Talk to them. Bad cops give themselves away almost instantly. The way they talk, dress, and carry themselves will tell you what kind of an officer they are. The bad ones brag about how many people they have arrested this week or what kind of substances they find. These guys feed on self-gratification, which is what leads up to more corrupt stuff later down the road.”

This lets you know that officers know why you hate them and why you can’t trust them. Some officers use your own words against you while others try to get you to say the right things for your own good. It’s nice to know that bad cops are almost always narcissists who only talk about themselves and their sorry accomplishments.

5. They Do Things They Don’t Agree With

As an American police officer, it is your job to make sure citizens are following the law or make them face the consequences. Oftentimes, you don’t agree with the law, but are bound to arrest people or give tickets to people you feel are innocent. Innocence and the law aren’t that closely related. You may have to arrest someone who did something that you find yourself doing on a regular basis.

The good cops judge on heart, but sometimes (like when they are with another cop) they have no choice but to bring you in. The thing is that the majority of the population agrees that some of these laws are totally wacky! Why should someone who is not trying to hurt someone spend half their life in prison? On the flip side, why should someone who does nothing but hurt people get to roam free just because they never “did anything” that warrants an arrest?

4. Most Cops Deal With Repeat Offenders

Time and time again, you’ll see repeat offenders. They become so regular that you know what they’re in for. Sometimes, they are the bane of your existence, and sometimes, you make really good friends with them, even if they sell illegal substances or they have stolen a million dollars in snacks from local gas stations. These people will often willingly hand themselves over after they get caught and will pretty much walk themselves through check-in. Maybe they will even wink at Barbara, who takes their mugshots, asking if their new haircut suits them.

It’s just as if you worked at a coffee shop and have repeat customers every morning. What’s strange is you’d think these people would either learn to be more sneaky, or learn to stop committing the same crime. What did Albert Einstein say? Was it, “To do something over and over again and expect to not get caught is insanity?” Close enough!

3. The Homeless Find A Temporary Home In Jail

It’s sad, but for many of the homeless that roam the streets, they find a home in jail. They will purposely get arrested just so they’ll get fed and have somewhere warm to sleep. The officers know that, and the good ones will try to help them. They will most definitely be gentle with them, but will also tend to let them know which places are hiring and what nights the soup kitchen has an open house.

Allegedly, some of these officers take these men home for a few days after they are released. No one can really blame the homeless in this situation. They’re right; the jailhouse will feed you, clothe you, and give you somewhere relatively warm to sleep. They are there when no one else is. But on the flip side, every arrest makes it harder for them to get hired somewhere because their record gets longer and longer. It’s an endless, downward spiral.

2. They Make Personal Rules

Many cops have their own personal rules they go by, like the guy who won’t arrest anyone older than his grandparents. As you may know, everyone has their own set of rules and morals. As for officers, each one of them has their own as well. Sometimes, it’s for the greater good, and other times, it’s for their own selfish good. For example, one police officer stated that he refuses to write tickets on holidays. That’s a good cop with a heart that might get him in trouble. Another says that he won’t arrest a girl unless she’s done something beyond redemption. That’s a cop who needs a steady girlfriend. One even said that he won’t pull anyone over if their music is good enough. That’s a young cop who chose the profession so he could have authority and drive fast.

Everyone is different, and you haven’t met a cop yet that didn’t have his own rules. They all do! Depending on the cop, this could get you in trouble or it could save your life!

1. Cops Really Do Like Donuts

Finally, the truth is out there! This may be the darkest secret of all. After years of memes, stereotypes in movies, and inside jokes, we finally know whether or not cops like donuts. It wasn’t easy to gather all of the info, because so many cops were unwilling to state the truth. But, gathering info only from those who told the truth, statistics show that 99% of cops like donuts. Researchers states that the reason for this is because everyone likes donuts. They taste good, whether they are cream-filled, chocolate-covered, or plain old free donuts at Krispy Kreme. We now can say that once and for all, the whole thing about cops liking donuts is 100% true!


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