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Stereotypes in Law Enforcement

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  • Stereotypes in Law Enforcement

    Why does it seem like 80% of all officers sport a mustache? I vow to remain completely clean shaven if I get hired on with a police department. It was just yesterday when I saw an officer at the supermarket, sporting a mustache that curled upwards towards his nostrils. This should have been against department policy. lol.

    The term "pig" is something that disturbs me. How does this term relate to law enforcement? Is it due to the fact that criminals think the police are always "rooting and rolling" around in their business? It's a term that makes me upset.

    I hate how the public has the tendency to classify law-enforcement as one big "corrupt group of individuals", just because they watched the nightly news and some cop in New Orleans decided to pummel somebody. They ignore the day to day acts of altruism from law enforcement individuals all across the country. They are slow to acknowledge the good in the police officer, and always quick to chasten with their arm-chair quarterbacking...alas 90 % of them wouldn't last a week in law enforcement. It takes a special person indeed.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Mercurynt
    Why does it seem like 80% of all officers sport a mustache? I vow to remain completely clean shaven if I get hired on with a police department. It was just yesterday when I saw an officer at the supermarket, sporting a mustache that curled upwards towards his nostrils. This should have been against department policy. lol.
    In most departments, the only facial hair that cops can display is a mustache. The mustache that you're describing would be prohibited by most department policies. Some of these policies are laughingly detailed about the limits on mustaches.

    If you don't want a mustache, don't grow one. I would doubly advise this if you're a girl.

    Originally posted by Mercurynt
    The term "pig" is something that disturbs me. How does this term relate to law enforcement? Is it due to the fact that criminals think the police are always "rooting and rolling" around in their business? It's a term that makes me upset.
    It was popular for anarchist protester types to call police "pigs" in the turbulent 60s. There were variations on this, with people cleverly remarking "You smell bacon?" when an off-duty or plainclothes cop was around, or referring to security officers as "rent-a-pigs." Cops generally made light of it, adopting pigs as department mascots, noting that pigs were actually very intelligent as compared to most other animals, and using slogans like "Pride, Integrity, Guts" on t-shirts.

    Originally posted by Mercurynt
    I hate how the public has the tendency to classify law-enforcement as one big "corrupt group of individuals", just because they watched the nightly news and some cop in New Orleans decided to pummel somebody. They ignore the day to day acts of altruism from law enforcement individuals all across the country. They are slow to acknowledge the good in the police officer, and always quick to chasten with their arm-chair quarterbacking...alas 90 % of them wouldn't last a week in law enforcement. It takes a special person indeed.
    People do the same thing with any other groups that they dislike or misunderstand. Currently, it's common for people to assume that all Muslims are anti-American and warlike. It's just the nature of people that find it easier to generalize than to learn and understand.
    Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Tim Dees
      In most departments, the only facial hair that cops can display is a mustache. The mustache that you're describing would be prohibited by most department policies. Some of these policies are laughingly detailed about the limits on mustaches.

      If you don't want a mustache, don't grow one. I would doubly advise this if you're a girl.

      It was popular for anarchist protester types to call police "pigs" in the turbulent 60s. There were variations on this, with people cleverly remarking "You smell bacon?" when an off-duty or plainclothes cop was around, or referring to security officers as "rent-a-pigs." Cops generally made light of it, adopting pigs as department mascots, noting that pigs were actually very intelligent as compared to most other animals, and using slogans like "Pride, Integrity, Guts" on t-shirts.

      People do the same thing with any other groups that they dislike or misunderstand. Currently, it's common for people to assume that all Muslims are anti-American and warlike. It's just the nature of people that find it easier to generalize than to learn and understand.

      I want a giant "Pig" slogan painted on my patrol car. A giant pig with a mustache, eating a chocolate doughnut. Nah, just kidding. I've always preferred "sheepdog" when referring to police officers. You sound like an intelligent person.

      It seems that many police officers show plenty of animosity and ridicule towards the security guard. Why is this?

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      • #4
        Tim Dees, "Editor in Chief of Officer.com" That explains it! You almost sound like a criminal justice professor.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mercurynt
          Tim Dees, "Editor in Chief of Officer.com" That explains it! You almost sound like a criminal justice professor.
          Which is exactly what I was for eight years.
          Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

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          • #6
            Mercurynt,

            Your feelings are certainly valid. When individuals refer to police officers using the names you quoted, they demonstrate a gross lack of respect for authority. If you find it highly upsetting, you may want to reconsider your decision to be a LEO. It will only get worse as time goes on, and it may even affect how you like the job.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mr. Security
              Mercurynt,

              Your feelings are certainly valid. When individuals refer to police officers using the names you quoted, they demonstrate a gross lack of respect for authority. If you find it highly upsetting, you may want to reconsider your decision to be a LEO. It will only get worse as time goes on, and it may even affect how you like the job.
              I'm fully prepared to receive all forms of abuse from the public. I will be called much worse by the time my career is up. For the officers who have received verbal abuse...how bad did it get???

              Comment


              • #8
                Reason for Editing.
                Last edited by lazycop; 02-15-2010, 04:49 PM.
                Work smarter not harder!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mercurynt
                  It seems that many police officers show plenty of animosity and ridicule towards the security guard. Why is this?
                  Its not towards all security guards...just the wannabe cop ones who think they have authority because they have a badge...even though the badge says security. I'm all well and good for security guards...as long as they know thats what they are.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RBrodowski
                    Its not towards all security guards...just the wannabe cop ones who think they have authority because they have a badge...even though the badge says security. I'm all well and good for security guards...as long as they know thats what they are.
                    I have to admit that the opinions expressed on this message board about security guards have caused me to steer away from even applying at these companies. However, last week I applied for Guardsmark LLC and it had rigorous hiring standards...similar to a police department. The application was 50 pages long, asking similar questions. You have to take a polygraph test and a psychological assesment, background assessment, etc. Half way through the application I said "to hell with this", because I was only being offered $9.00 per hour to sit and watch an empty warehouse all day. Then I thought of Bodie coming onto the account and giving me a piece of his mind.

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                    • #11
                      Tim very definitely was a CJ Professor, and before that worked for a PD I won't mention.

                      I'd post a picture of him, but the only current one I have is a tintype, film not having been invented yet....

                      (Well, it's not that old, but we were both a lot younger then.)

                      I'm not sure a current photo is available. Something about what happened to copies of his ID when he pulled out of that PD job and a Cargo Cult on the Pacific Rim someplace.

                      IAC, Tim had a mustache in the old picture, and had one a few weeks ago when last I saw him.

                      (I'm an old rent-a-cop.... I do training and dispatch lately, leaving the road to the younger guys. A good Security Officer is as good an LEO as you're likely to meet, but will have very specialized experience, and probably likes guarding empty warehouses, or working the gate at some concert or club. A bad one is worse than Hollywood would get away with portraying. Some agencies have very high standards. Here in OH, if you're armed, you're going to have to be fairly well qualified, and probably a good recruiting target for local LE. If you're not armed, though, it's a crapshoot. Some agencies will take "breathing" as ready to put on the street.)

                      But this ain't about that....

                      The other reason for the mustache, which you really don't start to appreciate (although you may laugh at) until you're a lot older, is that it may make the young Officer look a little a little better in the field.

                      Since most PD's allow it....

                      I've met some young Officers that look like they should still be in High School.... I was involved in a "lost child" incident about a year ago when the Officer I talked to looked to be too young to date my then 18-year-old daughter. He also came up to my chest.... Mustache didn't help much with me, but my wife (who was also involved) didn't get the joke - for her, it worked.

                      "Bald" seems to be "in" lately, too. Easy to take care of, I guess. I look silly enough with a full (usually well trimmed) beard & mustache, though. (Nature is helping the bald part, but my family history is about half & half there.)

                      (I keep the beard - the wife doesn't like it. )

                      Guess the short answer is to stay with clean shaven and neat until you're hired, and then go with whatever the PD will let you get away with. Don't be too visible, though. If the rest of the guys on your turn aren't wearing 'em, don't be the only one....

                      'Round here, and this doesn't necessarily apply elsewhere, a good rent-a-cop job may entail a great deal of training. You may still have to repeat some or all of it if you get hired at a PD, but you'll be a considerable leg up on your classmates. Don't lord it over anybody, and unless you've actually got real street time, assume that you know nothing about the field, but at least you'll have some exposure.

                      It's also possible you'll learn better ways to do something. If your FTO or Sergeant says "do it my way", shut up and wait until you're the Sgt.... Younger Brass or FTO's may be willing to listen, though. (Sometimes the FTO's only got a year on you. Listen to each other....)

                      And, as Tim reaches for the "Lock Out" button,

                      Regards,
                      Stu.

                      (Why write a quick note when you can write a novel?)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mercurynt
                        I'm fully prepared to receive all forms of abuse from the public. I will be called much worse by the time my career is up. For the officers who have received verbal abuse...how bad did it get???
                        I too wonder this. Is it common for you officers to hear mutters and even bold statements made negatively about you? Maybe general things against police or even personal things about you personally (physical looks, voice, mocking you in some way, etc).

                        ???

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No its not the same

                          Originally posted by Mercurynt
                          I have to admit that the opinions expressed on this message board about security guards have caused me to steer away from even applying at these companies. However, last week I applied for Guardsmark LLC and it had rigorous hiring standards...similar to a police department. The application was 50 pages long, asking similar questions. You have to take a polygraph test and a psychological assesment, background assessment, etc. Half way through the application I said "to hell with this", because I was only being offered $9.00 per hour to sit and watch an empty warehouse all day. Then I thought of Bodie coming onto the account and giving me a piece of his mind.
                          For me thats it right there. No, its not as rigorous as a police department! Look at the job you would be doing?

                          However, I get along with a lot of security guards I deal with. The store guys here get a lot of grief and no respect which we at least get. The problem is the wannabee or the criminal ones.

                          the guys that say things like "Same job"- No ******** we dont have the same job. You deal with womens panties, I deal with criminals. You worry about those panties getting robbed, I worry about being killed or someone else being raped/killed. Its a highlight of your day going to court, its my ****ing day off and I couldnt give a **** about your 5 euro panties. And no I wont turn a blind eye to you hitting the poor bitch that took them. The guys that get turned on by 'arresting' a 14 year old schoolgirl thats crying her heart out whereas I want to pat her on the head, give her a warning and send her home.

                          But like I said the majority I deal with are decent guys that do the job because its a job and thats it. They have common sense and dont try to do my job. Guys that realise its not a big deal and are relaxed. The same guys that can do the patting, warning and sending home without me.

                          Same goes for bouncers. Get some guys that are doing a job and thats it but theres also the overgrown ape that shouldnt be given the responsibility of his own house door key nevermind a bar door.

                          Oh and we have too be clean shaven at all times here.
                          Last edited by AnGardaSiochana; 10-18-2005, 10:38 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Most Cops I see in N.Y.C. do not have facial hair.(I was never a fan of it).I think the term pig(which I have never used to apply to LEO's)stems from (I'm showing my age now)the 60's and 70's anti-establishment sentiment of the time.I didn't think people still used it as a derogatory statement against Cops.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tim Dees
                              It was popular for anarchist protester types to call police "pigs" in the turbulent 60s. There were variations on this, with people cleverly remarking "You smell bacon?" when an off-duty or plainclothes cop was around, or referring to security officers as "rent-a-pigs." Cops generally made light of it, adopting pigs as department mascots, noting that pigs were actually very intelligent as compared to most other animals, and using slogans like "Pride, Integrity, Guts" on t-shirts.
                              Correct - the term "Pig" came from the 60's. The gas masks that the Police wore during the riots is what earned them the nickname. That particular style of gas mask made the wearer look like they had a "snout." Thus, the term "pig."

                              Oh, and I don't have a moustache.
                              If it wasn't for STUPID PEOPLE I'd be unemployed.

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