6 Strange and Weird Character Traits of Cops

lonely cop

A bunch of weirdo’s 

Yes, cops are weird. How do I know? Because I’ve been one for a long time.

Maybe weird is too harsh of a word. To say we are only different would be a big underscore. If you are one of those cops or deputy’s who thinks otherwise, this article may sting a bit.

From the day we graduated from the police academy, up until the first murder case we worked, the change has happened.

Very slowly and very subtle.

Some of you may not even be aware of your weirdness.

Don’t worry, like I said, it didn’t happen overnight. For you rookies reading this, you may have already noticed the distance that has begun to grow between you and everyone else.

As time goes on the reality of your world has become vastly different. Without trying to sound too much like Joe Friday, this change has happened for a reason.

The longer you stay on the job, the more habits or characteristics you begin to develop that run counter to everyone else. I’ve come up with this list of 6 but in reality there are many more.

And let’s not get caught up with semantics on this one. I call them traits for the sake of readability. You can call them anything you like.

Some of these “traits” you may have already heard of or read about. For that I am eternally sorry. I have never claimed to be Earnest Hemingway or Stephen King.

I’m just a cop like you.

Except I have a blog.

I write down what you already know anyway.

Okay, on with the list. These are in no particular order or importance.

1. Cops are control freaks 

Because we have to be.

Most jobs don’t require their workers to repeatedly immerse themselves in chaos everyday. Cops don’t have that luxury. Cops usually have about 5 seconds to take control of a scene.

If they don’t, it usually ends up with tasers and batons coming out with Chelsea Handler providing the play by play on late night TV.

Some cops can turn this off but others can’t.

Everyone knows that one cop you absolutely dread having in your car. They not only insist on telling you how to drive but also what kind of cop you should be.

2. Cops are king at catastrophic thinking

This is what I like to call the “we’re all gonna die” mentality.

Guilty as charged. My wife loves to remind me of the complete freak-out I had over a play set for our boys in our backyard.

I just knew that they would both end up paralyzed or suffer double broken femurs within a week.

See Related Article: “Why Cops Retire at 50”

I didn’t always think this way.

I guess after your sergeant tells you and your trainee to go through an intersection and pick up the rest of the body parts from a pedestrian accident, it might have some residual psychological effect on you.

Just sayin.

3. We have a sick and sometimes twisted sense of humor

And as much as I love doctors, nurses and morticians, please stop saying that your profession compares to ours in this category.

Nothing is off limits for cops.


Not moms, wives, kids, girlfriends or even grandmothers.

I have a co-worker sergeant that I interact with on a regular basis who routinely greets me with the varying ways he has had my mom since we last spoke.

Another blurted out to me one time, after taking an almost lethal zinger from yours truly, “at least my kids live with me”.


Cops reading this know exactly where I’m coming from.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

4. Everyone is a liar

This is not just applied to the vermin we deal with on the regular. When I say everyone, I mean EV-REE-ONE!! This is another one of those habits or traits that is developed over time.

I love to see brand new detectives emerge from their first interview. It really is the cutest thing you will ever see.

Almost without fail, they all come out of the room saying the same thing.

“He gave his side of the story….and I think he’s telling the truth..” they solemnly avow.


They are lying.

Everyone lies.

5. Cops suck at relationships

I have thought long and hard about this one.

Their is no better friendship than that of a cop. A cop’s natural inclination is to help those in need.

I remember seeing a comment from a family member once praising their husband for always looking out for the one’s he loves.

Cops routinely make the giant leap of looking out for people they don’t even know.

But when it comes to interpersonal relationships, mostly of the sexual kind, cops struggle.

I’m not sure if it’s the wall we must build to keep us from going crazy from the things we see or something else.

These are not excuses, just stating my observations over a couple of decades. I think that the way cops must bury their feelings to cope plays a major factor in their struggles in relationships.

Or I could be completely wrong.

6. Cops work way too much overtime and extra duty

As far as pay, cops don’t make shit.

Oh, is that language too harsh? Sorry not sorry. That article will have to wait for another day.

This is where cops essentially shoot themselves in the foot. I used to kill myself too trying to pay the bills. But let’s face it, cops are notorious for living outside of their means.

I always know when the new academy is about to graduate.

The recruit parking lot suddenly becomes full with brand new Mustangs and F-150’s being driven by a bunch of shower shoe rookies. Even worse, and it was quite sad, was watching a bunch of cops fall for the ARMS (adjustable rate mortgages) back in the late 2000’s.

I can’t think of anything more pitiful than having your dream “McMansion”, but can’t actually live in it because you have to work 110 hours a week just to keep it from foreclosing.

A better option would be to get your college degree if you don’t have it or develop a nice side hustle that is sustainable over the long haul.

See Related Article: “Policing in America: Why Good Cops are Leaving”

**If you have other traits or habits that I failed to mention please feel free to comment. I may not always respond to each individual comment but I read every single one.

-The Salty Sarge


  1. I always worked someextra shifts but it was more something we wanted but didn’t Have to have, although my daighter’s college tuition was more in the “essential” category. Unfortunately, a high school disploma will not get you anywhere anymore.
    I’ve always bought new cars, but then kept them until were no longer viable to keep. My current modest SUV has 145,000 miles on it and no payments. It’s still in pretty good shape, looking at another couple of years. Same with my house, modest in size and payments. Leaves you enough money to take care of it.

  2. I walked into the locker room once, at the end of a shift and 2 guys were, of course, insulting each other from across the room. One said “I hope you get into a horrible car accident on the way home, but have just enough life left to get home, crawl into your kids bedroom and then die on their floor”. We all laughed our asses off! I tell people who aren’t on the job this story and they are shocked. Horrified. But, this is how we are.

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