13 mortifying mistakes cops make

If your career is long enough and you haven’t done any of these 13 embarrassing things yet, you quite possibly will at some point


Add to this list in the comments area below and read dozens of additional mortifying mistakes made by other police officers. If you are not a PoliceOne verified member, it’s free and easy to join PoliceOne for immediate access to reader comments.

Have you ever called in a traffic stop over the radio and forgotten your call sign, your location, and/or one or more of the phonetic words to report the license plate characters? 

Something like, “Dispatch, this is unit six at First and Oak. I’ve got a brown Ford with a Utah plate. Nine, Charles, Edward... uh, um, ah... Scooby Doo...”

If your career is long enough and you haven’t done that yet, you quite possibly will at some point. Here are 13 other things a cop may do in his/her career (and immediately regret it). 

At some point in your career, you will transmit an obscenity over the radio. (Photo/Pixabay)
At some point in your career, you will transmit an obscenity over the radio. (Photo/Pixabay)

1. You will leave your gun in a jail lockbox (bad) or in a public restroom (much worse), and be miles away before you realize it. 

2. You will transmit an obscenity over the radio. 

3. You will forget about a court appearance when you are out of reach of a pager or cell phone. 

4. You will make derogatory comments about your supervisor while they are within earshot. 

5. You will spill some high-visibility slime on your uniform right before work and you will not have access to another one. 

6. You will tell a politically incorrect joke while the mic on your portable is open.

7. You will lock yourself out of your car at a remote location.

8. When transferring handcuffs on a prisoner, you will put yours on so that the keyholes are facing the keyholes on the cuffs already on the prisoner, making both pairs very difficult to remove. 

9. You will wake up in bed and only then remember the critical paperwork you left out of your report. 

10. You will arrive on scene for a call and discover you failed to note the absence of a needed piece of gear when you checked out the patrol car. If the needed component is gasoline, you will hear about this for at least the next five years. 

11. You will sit down in your patrol car and unknowingly depress the spray button on the OC canister on your belt. Until it’s empty.

12. K-9 officers only: During a police canine demonstration for a community group or at a public school, your dog will stop what he is doing to take a huge dump. 

13. A know-it-all teenage urchin will bait you incessantly until you lose it and scream in his face. Your indiscretion will be recorded on video and posted on YouTube.

Add to this list in the comments area below. 

This article, originally published on 7/9/15, has been updated.

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