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Want to know about being cop....

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  • Want to know about being cop....

    Hi, I'm a budding writer and I'd like to know some basics about being cop and what's his/er life is like just so I can make a police character. Even if the cop character is just a footnote, at least I want to learn about what cops are like. I want to eschew those Hollywood cliches of "supercops" and bring a bit more detailed, if not authentic, take on the police force.

    Can you help?

  • #2
    A good start would be to see if your local PD has a ride-along program and get some first hand experience.
    There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot.

    Steven Wright

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    • #3
      The ride-a-longs are excellent. Check to see if your local agency has a citizen police academy. These are excellent means of getting some feeling for the job. Who knows, you may actually become an advocate for police officers!
      "A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood." Lt. Gen. George S. Patton

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      • #4
        I forgot to tell you, I live in Malaysia. How does a police force differs from every country to country?

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        • #5
          Policing in each country is different, just like the life of a big city (USA) cop is completely different from a Rural Sheriff's Officer. I had lived in cities all my life, now I have retired to a small town. Here, the paper prints the police logs for the local communities. There are burglaries, vandalism, stolen cars, drunk drivers, but few armed robberies and murders. But officers respond to livestock (alive and dead) in the road, lost hikers, keys locked in the car, etc. And all this gets printed in the paper!

          Ride alongs are good, as well as finding out where the officers hang out after work. But there are as many lifestyles as there are officers. I worked with happily married, white picket fence types, as well as officers with "the girlfriend of the week". We had drunks & teetotalers, honest officers and a few (very few) bad apples, gentlemen and rough guys. There were artists and slobs as well.

          Why not try to become a cop, and see it from the inside?
          "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
          John Stuart Mill

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          • #6
            In my travels, I've found that the police in different countries have more in common than they are different. That's to be expected, since people are pretty much people and equally screwed up everywhere, and the police have pretty much the same job of trying to keep them out of trouble.

            I've walked through a National Police post in the south of France, guided by a brigadier who spoke little English, almost as little English as I spoke French. My companion spoke fluent French. She was lost. The French cop and I followed each other's questions and answers with little trouble.

            (We passed the holding cells, which in that station were heavy doors with thick glass. One pane had a star fracture. I pointed to my head and to the broken glass. He nodded.)

            An effective way to learn about people who do any job is to go to where they gather and talk to them. Tell them you're a writer and that you want to presented them realistically.

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