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Any interesting LE trivia?

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  • Any interesting LE trivia?

    Post any interesting trivia about law enforcement history, trivia etc. Such as...

    the origin of the words "sheriff"?

    or "copper"?


    when is the earliest known use of fingerprinting (approx)?

  • #2
    "Sheriff" - originated from two Saxon words that were combined. I can't recall the words, but together they translate as "Country-Keeper" or "Keeper of the Country".

    "Copper" - I've heard arguments that it's origin trace hasn't been 100% concluded, albeit most believe it refers to the metal (Copper) that was used to make the badges worn by the first known officers.

    I have no clue as to fingerprints.
    I'm back in the game baby.

    Not a LEO.

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    • #3
      I beleive that the term sheriff is from ancient England where the small villages were called -shares (sp) and the elder or head of this group was called a "reif" (sp) hence the head honcho was the shar-reif,and you take it from there.

      The first state police in the US was the Texas Rangers,even though quite often guys(gals) from New York like to argue the point
      Sleeping Giant. They're not fat and happy anymore. They are hungry and increasingly angry. That is not a good recipe for a "Puppies and Rainbows America".

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mavriktu View Post
        I beleive that the term sheriff is from ancient England where the small villages were called -shares (sp) and the elder or head of this group was called a "reif" (sp) hence the head honcho was the shar-reif,and you take it from there.

        The first state police in the US was the Texas Rangers,even though quite often guys(gals) from New York like to argue the point
        This is what I learned in the academy a few years ago.

        Some accounts place it in the days of the ancient Roman pro-consul. Most, however, say the office was created in the ninth century Anglo-Saxon England, where the word sheriff was probably derived. Each Shire, or land district, was headed by an official known as a Reeve ... thus the title Shire/Reeve and the gradual evolution over the years to the single designation, Sheriff.
        Retired

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        • #5

          The term "sheriff" came from Old England.......from a person who served as 'reeve' of the 'shire'; hence, shire reeve. (We were told this during the academy.)

          The term "cop" is just an acronym for constable on patrol - also taught during the first weeks of the academy.

          The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

          The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

          ------------------------------------------------

          "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

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          • #6
            Around the year 1700, the slang verb cop entered English usage, meaning "to get ahold of, catch, capture." By 1844, cop showed up in print, and soon thereafter the -er suffix was added, and a policeman became a copper, one who cops or catches and arrests criminals. Copper first appeared in print in 1846, the use of cop as a short form copper occured in 1859.
            Retired

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Consultant View Post
              "Sheriff" - originated from two Saxon words that were combined. I can't recall the words, but together they translate as "Country-Keeper" or "Keeper of the Country".

              "Copper" - I've heard arguments that it's origin trace hasn't been 100% concluded, albeit most believe it refers to the metal (Copper) that was used to make the badges worn by the first known officers.

              I have no clue as to fingerprints.
              Sheriff: from "shire" (county) and "reeve." (on in charge.)

              Copper is from the copper badges worn by early police officers, I believe in England. I also heard it came from helmets.

              "Bobby" is from the head of the Metropolitian Police, Sir Robert (Bobby) Peel.
              Last edited by Gene L; 06-15-2007, 09:03 PM.
              "Say hal-lo to my leetle frahnd!"

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              • #8
                The term "cop" is just an acronym for constable on patrol - also taught during the first weeks of the academy.
                [/COLOR][/QUOTE]

                I was also taught this(constable on patrol) was from the middle ages and is where the original term cop comes from.

                One thing that I think is stupid is that in the US a force of police constable's, seargents LT, Captains ect in called a Constable. Why would we do this when there is already a word in the english launguage descibing a police force made of these ranks
                which is called a Constabulary.
                Why dont we call them a constabulary and use correct english?

                Thats like instead of calling it the marines we call it the US Lance corporal since their are lance corprals in the marines.
                Last edited by metropd; 06-15-2007, 10:52 PM.

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                • #9
                  Lance Corporal is a Marine Corps rank. i was taught that "cop" came from the fact that the badges were first made of copper, hence "copper" and then eventually "cop."
                  When reality becomes too unbearable.............When he can't give an intelligent answer to the comment made instead of the comment he wish were made....... he predictably............. slips into ........The Fantasy Zone.
                  -JPR

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                  • #10
                    Thank you for that point so I could better clarify myself.

                    Copper breast badges started primarily being used in the mid 1800's and cop has been around alot longer as far as my knowledge.

                    Plus the British police have never had any breast badge on any part of the uniform and wore beaver top hats prior to the 1860's were they started wearing custodian helmets.

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                    • #11
                      Cop does not come from either copper buttons or constable on patrol. The use of the word "cop" meaning "to capture" or "to grab" dates to the early 1700s. Its root is most likely the Latin word "capere", meaning "to capture". Its use to refer to a law enforcement officer dates from the mid-19th century and most likely is a reference to capturing a suspect.

                      And yes, sheriff does derive from shire-reeve. Shires were local divisions of government (something like a county) and the reeve was the official charged with collecting taxes and enforcing the king's laws.
                      Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                      I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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                      • #12
                        Who was the First Police Chief to use Vehicles (Cars and Motors) for patrol, the Polygraph, Radios and he created the Crime Index used to track crime and the criminals? What was the name of the agency?

                        Bonus Points: How did he die?
                        It takes a Wolf.......

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                        • #13
                          The word patrol is from the Frnch word patralleu (sp?), meaning "to walk through puddles."
                          "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                          Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                          Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Irishluck31 View Post
                            Who was the First Police Chief to use Vehicles (Cars and Motors) for patrol, the Polygraph, Radios and he created the Crime Index used to track crime and the criminals? What was the name of the agency?

                            Bonus Points: How did he die?
                            Frank Craeul (SP?) Detroit PD.

                            Cheated, used Google!
                            "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                            Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                            Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I love Cop trivia, always more than one right answer.

                              I think google lied though. Frank my have started using some of those early, but sombody did it first.

                              Hint: California ageny. The Crime Index was the first of its kind and the man started the Criminal justice program at a large "California" School. The CJ program was cutting edge for the time and also one of the first in the country. Oh, and he made higher education a requirement for the cops he hired. They had to be highschool educated and college educated to be a cop here. Way before his time educationally speaking. Late 1800's.
                              It takes a Wolf.......

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