Police officers are the ones charged by the government of the United States of America to maintain peace and order. The country’s internal security thus greatly depends on the police department. Laws and norms are what keep each and every country, including the United States of America, in peace and harmony. Order is ensured through the enforcement of these laws and this in turn facilitates the running of other activities within the country without a hustle. When a group of people are put together and charged with a common cause, certain behaviors and characters congruent to their type of services they offer are likely to emerge.
The police force is not an exception and their nature of work has given rise to a culture popularly known as the cop culture (http://www. absoluteastronomy. com/topics/Police_officer). The duty of serving the police force is generally taken by many to be a noble cause as it entails serving the country and its citizens by putting your life on the line. It is a job sought by many as it is considered to be honorable. A police officer’s day-to-day life revolves around some policies that nurture in them a set of values and beliefs.
Since many of these officers are recruited from the middle-class population, their actions are supposed to reflect those of the wider society. The cop culture props up within the officers from the time of recruitment and they experience it throughout their careers. It builds in them an attitude that permeates all other areas. Training removes them from familial and familiar surroundings and immerses them in both formal and informal rules of police conduct. As a result of their policies and practices, the force has however developed some culture segmentation over homogeneity.
These cop cultures that are the core components of the life of a police officer include cynicism, pessimism, suspicion, isolation, solidarity, conservatism and machismo. Suspicion and stereotyping is the most common form of cop culture. This entails the police officers being always suspicious of the members of the public domain and any sign of apprehension or naivety exhibited by a person would lead to arrest and dire investigation regardless of how genuine the situation might be. This is as a result of the aspect of stereotyping which in most cases is marred with errors, though at times this is unavoidable.
Suspicion on the other hand is very vital and pertains the work of the police force, as it is this that leads to the officers arresting some lurking criminals any many states. Suspicion generally occurs as a result of a sense of mission. Officers should be equipped with cognitive maps, which would aid them in understanding and handling fraught encounters, and thus reduce the probability of the occurrence of errors. The daily life of a police officer, though seen by many as very challenging and exciting, is a purposeful mission in that it is not just a job but also a way of life.
It is more like a sect or religion. A police officer, in order to uphold the values of the force, lives a very solitary life as far as service to the course is concerned. This is seen as a way of safe guarding the social order while at the same time keeping the secrets of the force away from the public domain. Therefore, a police officer is bound to live the life of a policeman with or without the police uniform. The officer is likely to drift away from the normal life of an ordinary citizen to having his colleagues as his only company.