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10 Things That Make Cops Cringe

Find Out What Really Gets Under Police Officers' Skin

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Working in law enforcement - or any criminal justice job, for that matter - is without question one of the most rewarding careers out there. There are times, though, when being a cop isn't all it's cracked up to be. Any day in the life of a police officer can be tough, but some moments are better than others. If you've ever been curious about what get's under a police officer's skin, here are 10 things that are guaranteed to make a cop cringe.

1. Kids Not Wearing Seat Belts

Unfortunately, it doesn't take long in a police officer's career before they experience their first tragic car crash. These scenes are difficult enough when adults are involved, but when children are needlessly hurt - or worse - it will break a cop's heart. Data has shown time and again that seat belts save lives. When cops see a car full of kids riding without seat belts or car seats when required, you can bet they're going to have a chat with the driver. Better to deal with a ticket than live with a tragedy.

2. Domestic Violence and Abuse Cases

Most police officers choose their career because they want to help people and protect those who can't help themselves. That's why it's often so difficult for them to respond to domestic violence calls. In the police academy, most recruits are taught that domestic violence calls are among the most dangerous calls to respond to because of the high level of emotion and the unknown factors involved.

The stress of the call is bad enough, but add to that a victim who is reluctant to press charges or less than cooperative because they want to protect their abuser and it's easy to see why this would be a frustrating situation for someone who is sworn to serve and protect.

3. Other Cops Giving the Profession a Bad Name

We all know there are people working as police officers who shouldn't be. Despite a lengthy hiring process and rigorous background checks - including psychological exams and polygraphs - some people unfortunately fall through the cracks. Inevitably, most of these folks eventually expose themselves as the crooks they are, and often in a big way.

The public rightly holds police to a high ethical standard. When bad cops do bad things, they make headlines. They also make the good, honest, hard-working people who make up the majority of police officers look bad, too. In the eyes of the public, when one officer does something bad, all officers have done something bad. Corrupt, crooked, ignorant and rude cops all give the rest of the profession a bad name, and make other officers cringe.

4. Motorists Who Don't Move Over

There are 50 states in the United States. Of them, 49 have laws requiring you to move over into the far lane and/or slow down when approaching or passing an emergency vehicle on the side of the road.

Why do we have these laws? Because believe it or not, cops are far more afraid of traffic whizzing by at 70 miles per hour than they are of the bad guy who wants to hurt them. The bad guy they know what to do with. There's not much they can do to stop the motorist cruising down the interstate with their head stuck in a place it probably shouldn't be.

If a car drifts a little too far to the right or left, it can take out a patrol car on a traffic stop or crash scene or - worse yet - an officer on the side of the road. Remembering to move over forces drivers to pay better attention, and keeps police officers from getting hurt or killed.

5. Motorists Who Apply Their Brakes When Lights and Sirens Are Approaching

When you glance in your rearview mirror and see a police officer fast approaching behind you with lights and sirens, what's the first thing you do? It's probably a safe bet you hit your brakes. Hard. The problem with that is that a police car with lights and sirens is probably trying to get somewhere quickly. By slamming on the brakes, you've created one more obstacle and one more thing the officer has to react to.

Fortunately, officers are trained for emergency driving, and most of the time they are able to react appropriately. Also, even in emergency mode, they're expected to drive with due care for the safety of others. At the same time, though, there are times when they have to get to people quickly. Sometimes, it could be a matter of life or death. When motorists hit their brakes in front of them, it can introduce more harm than good. Better to try to carefully move into an adjacent lane or maintain your pace and let them pass.

6. People Who Insist Police Myths are Police Reality

They've heard it all - an arrest is invalid if the cops don't read you your rights; you have to tell me you're a cop if I ask; speed traps are entrapment. Every once in a while, police will come across the know-it all, would-be lawyer who in fact knows nothing about policing, tactics, practices or the law. Instead, he buys into the myths about policing that are permeated throughout movies, television and popular culture, and he insists on doing everything he can to make the officer's job that much harder.

7. "I Pay Your Salary"

Believe it or not, that's a real thing. Every once in a while, an intrepid officer will encounter that gem of a citizen who insists that the law doesn't apply to them because they're footing the bill. It could be a traffic stop, it could be a road block, it could even be a crime scene. Inevitably, someone won't like an answer they get from an officer and utter those famous words: "Hey, I pay your salary!"

First off, yes, officers are funded by taxpayer dollars. They're here to serve the public, not be served by the public. Most officers understand this, and are proud of their role. With that said, the reason they are paid a salary is because they public has entrusted them with the authority to protect them and to enforce the laws. On top of that, when you think about it, officers are taxpayers, too, which means they pay their own salary.

The polite officer will smile and take it, but rest assured, they're giving it all they've got to keep from letting you know what they're really thinking.

8. Telling Kids Cops Will Arrest Them if They Don't Behave

Ask any officer, and she will tell you one of the most uncomfortable and disappointing moments in their career is when a parent approaches them and says something like "tell my son here that if he doesn't listen to his parents you're going to arrest him."

Why do cops hate when this happens? Because more than anything, they want people to trust them so that they'll come to the police when they need help. The fear cops have is that telling a child they'll get arrested for not listening to their parents will only build fear and distrust.

9. The Old "It Wasn't Me" Joke

You're going to find this hard to believe, but remember that time that police officer walked into the restaurant, convenience store or your place of business and you jovially exclaimed "It wasn't me"? That wasn't the first time the officer heard that joke. It wasn't even the fortieth time. Quite honestly, it's not funny. And it get's less funny every time a cop hears it. Which is a lot.

10. Injustice

Okay, this one may seem cheesy and cliche, but police hate it when a guilty person goes free. In fact, for most, the very idea that a guilty person would fight charges is bothersome, because most people hold owning up to mistakes in such high regard.

Obviously, if someone is innocent they have a right - and indeed an obligation - to clear their name. At the same time, if they're guilty, many believe they should admit their guilt and accept their fate.

Police exist to aid in the service of justice. They want to know that what they do day in and day out makes a difference. When things go awry and a criminal walks, it's hard not to take it personally. At the same time, it often serves as a source of pride. Though it may seem altruistic, many truly feel it's better a guilty man goes free than an innocent one loses his freedom.

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