The 10 Truths All Cops Know

What cops know

I have had more than a few people over the years ask me point blank, “what is it like to be a cop?”

I’m usually caught off guard by such a question.

It is like asking a random stranger, “what is the meaning of life?”

The oversimplification of the question usually has me muttering something along the lines of “it’s crazy you know, the things we see.”

The conversation then sort of falls away with one of us, usually me, changing the subject.

I believe an easier way to explain is to re-phrase the question. As in, what do cops know?

This list should be universal to all cops who have done the job longer than a few years. For you rookies, in time you will learn to know these truths as well.

The following are the 10 truths all cops know;

The 10 truths…

1.  Real evil does exist in the world. A lot of people already know this but they don’t really know it. My wife, while watching the evening news, will blurt out in shock when she hears of another ghastly crime that has made the nightly news. As a cop, most of these headlines don’t even appear on my radar screen. Right or wrong, cops are numb to it. Unless it’s in our city and there’s a chance we may get called in and miss the game.

2. Human beings are violent creatures. Most good people believe that violence is just something that other people or groups can’t control. Cops know that ordinary people, if threatened or provoked in the wrong way, will become savage and have no mercy against their fellow man. The nicest people are not immune to keeping their monster in check.

3. Not all bad people are bad, not all good people are good. Although we love to put people in boxes and label them for our own convenience, cops know differently. I have witnessed many so called “bad people” show great acts of kindness and good people treat others like shit. Cops know this. They want you to know it too.

4. Nothing good happens after midnight. Well almost nothing. Your chance of being robbed, shot, beat up or killed, rises exponentially after the clock strikes midnight. Cops know this, especially cops who work the graveyard shift. Ever wonder why they call it that?

5. Most people would break the law if they knew they could get away with it. Before you fire back with some retort about being as pure as the driven snow, stop. I am not talking about committing violent felonies here. I’m talking about the little tiny offenses that have no victim but are illegal none the less.

See Related: “The Top 20 Rules for All New Cops”

6. There are a lot of really dumb people in this world. I know this may shock some of you but sadly it’s true. Cops know this. After dealing with this special segment of society on a regular basis, most cops can only collapse into their favorite chair after their shift and dream of a world where people aren’t dumb.

7. Being a “victim” is our new national pastime. No one is ever to blame for their circumstances or the reasons why they are stuck in a situation. It is ALWAYS someone else’s fault and never their own, especially their children. We are a nation of victims.

8. Rich or poor, white or black. We honestly don’t care. Some will find this hard to believe. The only thing that will guarantee that our contact will go smoothly is you. If you believe in this whole race angle than you have been fooled. End of story.

9. Most of us having been doing the job so long we have forgotten what it is like to be normal. We know that we are weird. No need to remind us.

10. We honestly don’t want to shoot you. I overheard a family member say once that she is sure there are cops who hope they get to shoot someone every time they go on duty. This is just reckless and all together dumb. Way, way too much paperwork. Not to mention being on the national news and causing our city to spiral into rioting and anarchy. Cops know this.


These are my truths as I know them as a police officer for the past two decades. Your truth may be different. I would love to hear them…

See Also: “3 Leadership Traits to Avoid When Supervising Street Cops”

You can find other ORIGINAL articles like this one and more at The Salty Sarge Facebook Page.


  1. I once saw a survey where 33% of college males said they would committ rape if they knew they’d get away with it.

  2. That’s pretty much the way I remember it. My favorite was “It’s not a crime to be poor”, or insert your favorite adjective.

  3. Everything you do now Is way too much paperwork. A simple P I takes you off the road for at least an hour.

  4. I enjoyed your depiction of human nature. I would say any profession dealing with this segment of society would draw similar conclusions. I am a property manager for mobile homes. I have lost my youthful innocence forever. Unfortunately, when I am confronted with the people you describe above, it takes me weeks or even months to remove them from my property.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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