How to Be a Cop According to TV and Movies –
Your father was a cop, his father was a cop, HIS father was a cop, and his father was…a janitor. But when you think about it, janitors are kinda like cops? Both cleaning up the city…one a little more literally than the other, but still.
Your father and/or wife was tragically gunned down in an unsolved murder case…that still haunts you to this day.
You’ve solved every case…except the one that REALLY matters to you. Honestly, everyone probably suspects you’re the one who did it – after all, you solved EVERY single case except this one? What gives? Also, in 90% of murders, it’s a close family member who did it, typically the spouse. Just sayin’.
You don’t have the time NOR the inclination to get your tie properly tightened to your collar. Not only are you not metaphorically buttoned up like those other squares in the department, you’re LITERALLY not buttoning that top button of your shirt. How else will everyone know that you’re married to the job, that you push yourself harder than anyone, and that tying it all the way hurts your neck a little bit and makes it hard to breathe?
Be known as a loose cannon maverick who plays by his own rules, to the degree that even your captain refers to you in that way, despite having promoted you to the rank of detective
Kinda strange that a police captain would continuously promote someone known to flaunt the rules and not follow procedure – sorta sends a message to the other officers that breaking protocol is what gets you ahead in the department, even though playing fast and loose with the rules typically leads to failed prosecutions and more criminals being able to walk free thanks to technicalities on warrants and chain-of-custody for evidence. You’d think a reputation for that kind of behavior would never be enabled at all, let alone rewarded – yet here we are!
Wait for backup? DOES IT LOOK LIKE YOU HAVE TIME TO WAIT FOR LITERALLY EVEN ONE PERSON TO HAVE YOUR BACK BEFORE STORMING INTO THIS INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS, UNKNOWN SITUATION WHERE YOU COULD NOT ONLY BE RISKING YOUR OWN LIFE, BUT ALSO THE LIVES OF ANY INNOCENTS THAT GET CAUGHT UP IN THE CROSSFIRE? I didn’t THINK so!
Sure – pretty much every case you work ends with endless amounts of bullet-ridden cars and walls, not to mention all of the explosions (and the resulting civil lawsuits from the local natural gas company that resulted from the gas line shutdowns that were necessitated to prevent the entire city from being engulfed in flames). But in the end – you get results. Sure, the brass up top may not like your methods, but in the end, you always get your man.
…except, ya know, they’ve been riddled by 90 bullets and you have to go to the FBI for dental record analysis to confirm it was them you shot.
When you inevitably get suspended for going too far in the big case (that you’re so close to solving), slam your badge and gun down on the chief’s desk and storm out.
Sure, you’d THINK there would be a more formal process for all of that – filling out a bunch of paperwork, turning your gun in to the firearm specialist (since every bullet a cop uses is serialized and tracked), having some kind of review process, etc. But you’d be wrong – a dramatic slamming down of your badge and gun is basically all you need to do to tell your captain that you may not LIKE their decision, but – dammit – you gotta respect the call.
Sure, you didn’t check to see if you live in a state with two party consent or not, and there’s no way any evidence you gather would ever be admissible in a court of law, and you are definitely committing numerous felonies in attempting to arrest the leader of a major drug cartel, but other than that…case closed!
Somehow this doesn’t turn into an enormous media scandal about a suspended cop with a history of using excessive force enacting vigilante justice
The media is more active than ever in covering dirty cops and detectives that refuse to obey the law, but somehow they take no interest in your particular case, despite the abundance of red flags surrounding every action you’ve taken.
You’re a regular here, because – let’s face it – you’re a barely-functioning alcoholic. It seems nice that you’re on a first name basis with the bartender (who is always named Sully, no exceptions) and he warily asks you if you want “the regular”, but even the mildest bit of examination would lead anyone to the conclusion that you drink way too much. C’mon – it’s a Tuesday.