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Top 10: Things You Didnt Know About Law Enforcement

10. It Has Its Beginnings On Bow Street

The Bow Street Runners were the precursor to all modern police forces. Established in London in 1749 by Henry Fielding (author of the novel Tom Jones), the Runners were the first official police force in the capital. Initially consisting of only eight constables, the force soon grew and began pursuing criminals countrywide. Their formation marked the beginning of formalized policing methods.

9. Italian Cops Get The Best Wheels

Police forces in Italy have a secret weapon in their motor pool -- three, in fact. The Italian State Police, Rome PD and Bologna PD each count a Lamborghini among their patrol cars. Capable of going 0-60 in 3.5 seconds, these cars are mainly used as emergency response vehicles and for donor organ transport. Who says you can’t do a burnout and save lives at the same time?

8. Cop May Be An Acronym

There’s a lot of debate surrounding the origin of the word “cop” when used in reference to police officers. One theory is that it derives from the Latin word “capere,” which means “to seize.” Others say it is in reference to their copper badges or buttons. The simplest and most believable explanation is that it’s an acronym for “constable on patrol.”

7. Police Leave Fingerprints On Your Car

Have you ever been pulled over, then noticed the police officer touching your trunk as he approached your car to give you your traffic ticket? They do this to leave their fingerprints on the car in the event that the stop goes badly -- whether the driver simply speeds off or somebody gets hurt. However, the practice is now being discouraged in many law enforcement agencies due to the belief that it makes the officers more vulnerable -- approaching the taillights of the car gives the driver a full view of the officer’s exact whereabouts.

6. A Cop Is Killed Every 53 Hours

A career in law enforcement isn’t for most people. Every time a police officer makes a routine traffic stop, he knows that he could potentially be hurt or even killed. An average of 56,000 law enforcement officers are assaulted every year in the U.S. Records also show that an officer is killed in the line of duty every 53 hours.

5. Citizen's Arrests Are Real

Want to shoulder some of the burden carried by men and women in law enforcement but don’t know where to start? Try taking down a perp of your own in a citizen’s arrest. The laws vary depending on where you live, but here are the general rules concerning a lawful citizen’s arrest: If you see someone committing a felony or have reasonable grounds to believe they’ve committed a felony, you can arrest them. However, you will not share the same legal protection of a law enforcement officer, meaning the criminal could later sue you for unlawful detention. So, count to 10 and have a think before you try arresting anyone.

4. A Police Dog Gets An Officer's Funeral

Dogs are used in several capacities in law enforcement. Some dogs are muscle, used for crowd control and the protection of human officers. Others are trained to track suspects, missing persons, drugs, or dead bodies. These dogs are treated like real officers, each getting their own badge -- it’s even a felony to kill a police dog. When one of these animals is killed in the line of duty, it often receives the same funeral as any police officer, complete with procession, speeches and a flag-folding ceremony. (None of which we saw at the end of Turner and Hooch! Get your facts straight, Hollywood.)

3. Alaska State Troopers wear more hats than anyone else

The Alaska State Troopers hold a unique position within their state: While most state police mainly serve as highway patrol, these guys do everything. They are the chief law enforcement agency for most of Alaska. This is due to the remote nature of most communities and the statewide lack of local government. This means that the same law enforcement agency responsible for speeding tickets also conducts drug busts and pulls cats out of trees.

2.Tokyo police are as dangerous as Steven Seagal

Officers in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police take specialized martial arts training before joining the force. Aikido is the martial art of choice for this force -- it’s a form of grappling that is characterized by its mainly defensive techniques. Aikido focuses on using an attacker’s weight and momentum against him. The police first began their Aikido training in 1960, and they’ve been kicking ass ever since. After all, Aikido is the same martial art used by Steven Seagal. And everybody knows you don’t mess with Steven Seagal (especially when he’s eating).

1. Police Once Arrested Big Bird

In September, police in Mississippi tasered and handcuffed an emu. The 4-foot-tall bird found its way on to the entrance ramp of the I-20 in Forest, Mississippi. There it ran amok for some time before police made it on the scene. They surrounded the bird and managed to take it down using a taser and a pair of handcuffs, which was good thinking. We certainly wouldn’t want to go one-on-one with an emu -- they’re like bloody velociraptors, plus they have dead bird eyes and you can’t tell what they’re thinking. Apparently, this incident wasn’t the first time police have had to take one of these birds down.

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  • I like the emu story... hehehe!!!
  • edited 23 Nov 2012
    Hahaha. I couldn't imagine having to chase around an emu!
  • Never heard the Bow Street Runners story before, interesting stuff for sure.
  • I know Paul... I think I would radio animal control for that one.
  • Sounds like something from Super Troopers.
  • Tazed emu.....could be the start of a good barbeque.....
  • I don't buy the Constable on Patrol acronym thing and here's why: the word "cop" was originally derogatory. It was so offensive, as a matter of fact, that the LAPD asked Jack Webb to stop using that term on television. Thus, Joe Friday stopped saying "I'm a cop" and began saying "I carry a badge"
  • funny article, though i'm gonna diagree with #7 and #2
  • I'd like one of those Italian patrol cars!
  • I am with andy_nolin on #7. I was taught, and then later taught my cadets, that you put your hand on the trunk lid to make sure it is closed, so a bad dude doesn't pop out.
    Funny article though.
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  • Cop.... Community oriented policing
  • Small community agencies wear the same number of hats as Alaska Troopers!
  • #3 A lot of states have State Police, some states have State Patrol, they are not the same thing.
    #7 I was taught it did two things, Made sure the trunk lid was down tight and left your prints on the vehicle.
    #4 They have earned it.
  • edited 29 Dec 2012
    Re: #7, the argument for leaving your prints on the violator's trunk is 'old school'. It comes from a time before the in-car video system and was probably good advice back in the day, just in case things went toes-up. Nowadays, with your video documenting the traffic stop, you'd be wise to stay away from the rear of the violator's vehicle. (And what bad guy rides around in the trunk of a car?? Can't say it would never happen, but come on, there are a lot more realistic safety issues than that to be concerned about.)
  • Good list!!!
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