logo for print

10 people you'll meet in law enforcement

Are these familar?


Are these familar? Here are the 10 people you'll meet in law enforcement. 

It should be noted, all 10 of these characters can be one person throughout the evolution of his/her career. Some of them may even occur at the same time.

1. The Rookie

It should be noted, all 10 of these characters can be one person throughout the evolution of his/her career.
It should be noted, all 10 of these characters can be one person throughout the evolution of his/her career.

No matter your level in law enforcement, we all started here. We were all wide-eyed, rough around the edges, and green as the day is long. The Rookie wants to do it all…the only problem is they have no idea what it is or how to go about doing it. Their desire to save the world is both adorable and, as the Veteran will tell you, a complete pipe dream. Someone should tell the following to the Rookie every day: “When you go fishing, do you catch all the fish?” It will serve as a good reminder that there is only so much one copper can do.

2. The Veteran (aka “Salty Dog”)

Time in service is no longer the number the Veteran cares about. Sure, the Veteran knows it, but only insomuch as how it factors into the more important number: the Retirement Date. The Veteran has likely seen more, heard more, and forgotten more than the Rookie can even attempt to conceptualize. When a new supervisor gets assigned to the unit, it’s the Veteran that supervisor looks to for guidance. The Veteran knows his job and does it well...but no longer with the rose-colored glasses of the Rookie.

3. The Interloper

The Interloper is the bastard child of a bad plan...be it by the officer himself/herself or the Powers That Be. The Interloper is an officer who simply shouldn’t be assigned to a particular detail/unit/area. It’d be like forcing me into Investigations. At least the first murder I’d encounter would be easy to solve. Because it would be me killing someone for their terrible decision making skills. Think of the Interloper as an ugly Christmas sweater at a black tie event. The difference is shocking to the senses. However, if you put that ugly Christmas sweater at a party themed as such? Brilliant.

4. The Whiner

Nothing makes the Whiner happy. Except, of course, whining. At that, the Whiner excels. New policy? Waah! New uniform requirement? Waah! Forced overtime? Waah! The Whiner is an insidious bloke and must be extricated carefully, but expeditiously all the same. He/she can, and will, infect an entire unit, team, and/or department.

5. The Leg Rider (aka “Yes Man”)

It wasn’t until I had many years in service (very nearly Veteran status) that the phrase “The Emperor has no clothes” started to mean something to me. When the Powers That Be (PTB) come down from the metaphoric Mount to inquire of the plebeians below about this topic or that and prior to waiting for their response, gives an indication of which way the wind should blow, the Leg Rider (yes...as in humping the leg like a dog) will vomit back to the PTB the very idea the PTB had in mind in the first place. The Leg Rider sees no error or potential pitfalls in the plans from On High. The Leg Rider would become just as naked as the Emperor if there was something in it for him/her.

6. The Pipeline (a close relative of the Leg Rider)

If the Pipeline overhears a conversation he/she believes would interest the PTB (and thus benefit him), he will post haste inform the PTB. The Pipeline is akin to a catty sewing circle. You know, the one where Betty is having a rough go and spilling her soul to the rest of the folks, but when Betty leaves the room after trusting everyone to keep the information confidential, the Pipeline then texts the information to the Chief? Yeah, that guy’s an asshole.

7. The Hunter

This officer loves to come to work. He/she just wants to take bad guys to jail. The Hunter is a step above the Rookie because the Hunter knows his ass from a hole in the ground. When I worked graveyards, I worked with a guy who loved to hunt DUIs. Deuce hunting became our pastime and between the two of us, we took around 35 people to jail in no time. To this day, I still love to hunt deuces. The key to the Hunter is identifying their target. Some Hunters like big game. Some like quantity over “quality”. You’ll know a Hunter, though. They’re the ones who spend the majority of their shift humping a beat.

8. The Loose Cannon

The Loose Cannon is a dangerous one with which to work. They can flip from charming and disarming one second, to volatile or aloof the next. The Loose Cannon will be quick to pull their pistol when circumstances may not call for such a move. The Loose Cannon may or may not ignore certain aspects of the Constitution. Hollywood loves the Loose Cannon (as does the media) because it inculcates the false narrative stereotype that sells their movies and “news” programs. In truth, the Loose Cannon is, thankfully, a rare breed and often easily associated with an Interloper. They are easily reassigned into a more appropriate environment...or straight up fired because they suck.

9. The Rock

That’s right. Dwayne M-F’n Johnson. Well, okay, not really, but still he’s a pretty cool cat, right? The Rock is the one you can always trust to have your back. You never have to worry whether the Rock will be there to back you up when the world goes to shit. You will never question the Rock’s availability, tenacity, dedication, or determination. If you did, he/she wouldn’t be the Rock.

10. The Retiree

The Retiree is the goal of the previous nine. How one attains that status will vary from case-to-case. My path is not yours, nor is yours mine. Each is unique. Every man and woman who takes the oath when they are the Rookie should have becoming a Retiree in mind. I’ve written some amusing things in this piece, but when we hear the words “the goal is to go home safe at the end of your shift” keep in mind those shifts add up.

The ultimate goal of this job is make it home safe at the end of your career. So regardless of what character you identify with (or what combination thereof) be safe and go home.

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2017 PoliceOne.com. All rights reserved.