Everyone has behaviors, people, phrases or actions that irritate the living crap out of them. Cops, of course, are no different. We experience particular behaviors so regularly that they easily develop into full blown pet peeves that we disdain with the passion of 1,000 suns. The list could be longer, but here are 14 of the things that you should be aware will most likely make a cop want to call down meteors from the sky:
The played out joke: This is when you walk into a random establishment, whether for a business check or a report call and you hear, "I didn't do it", "He's over there", "It wasn't me", "Don't shoot" or "Hey Dave, they're finally here for you." Just move along to the window washer and tell him "he missed a spot." I'm sure he hasn't heard it.
The traffic stop Interruption: When you're on a traffic stop and someone is uncontrollably compelled as if by demonic possession to either stop their vehicle next to you or walk up to you (while you're conducting your traffic stop) and ask you a completely unrelated question or give you some very non-emergent information that is apparently critical for you to "be aware of."
The "I only know one way home" routine: No matter how many road signs are posted, flares patterned, cones organized or officers in bright yellow vests with bright flashlights are there informing folks that the road is closed, SOMEONE IS GOING TO ASK TO COME THROUGH OR JUST OUTRIGHT TRY IT. You do not know the depths of depravity/stupidity in mankind until you have directed traffic. It's science.
The "Do you know so and so?" This is the assumption that all cops know every other cop in existence. For example, If I'm on a traffic stop in Michigan I may get asked, "Hey, do you know my cousin Chad? He's a cop in Florida. He really likes it."
"Oh Chad, yeah, great guy....*eye roll*"
The name drop: Closely related to the "so and so" routine, this version assumes that because the offender knows a name to drop, that they have carte blanche to drive recklessly or do whatever they please.
The bad parenting technique: Because parents are either too lazy or too ignorant, they decide they will let imaginary policeman raise their kids for them by referring to them in negative ways. Examples include: "If you don't eat your vegetables, we're calling the police." "Oh look Billy, there's the police, they're gonna take you to jail." "You better be good sally or Mr. Policeman is gonna take you away forever!" Later in life when a cop then smiles at that kid and says hello, a little pee trickles down their legs from years of pre-emptive and naïvely inaccurate sentiments about you.
The person who doesn't get over: Cops generally try to get to legitimate calls as soon as they can (hence the blue and red flashing lights, etc.). But as sure as the sun rises in the east, the moment you turn on LED lights (flashing so much it would give most people a seizure), get your siren blaring, there WILL BE a driver who doesn't get over, stops immediately in front of you in the same lane, or just slows and never stops.
The please take him to jail but can I bond him out I love him girl: And before people flip out over legitimate concerns of fear in victims, I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the folks that fight on purpose and then tattle on each other like undisciplined 3 year olds and force our hand to take someone to jail. Before you even get him out of the house, she asks about bond money and yells out that she loves him. Then as soon as he gets out of jail, they go on the Maury Povich show together (is he the father? find out after the next commercial). The struggle is real.
The I should make a police report RIGHT NOW caller: I'm not sure what leads up to this, but it happens regularly. Someone decides that at 0315 hours, it is now time to call the police to report that suspicious incident or problem that occurred 2-3 weeks ago. They cannot be bothered to come to the station, you need to come to them and their kids need to be sleeping and everyone must whisper and the entire thing must be utterly useless. Yes it happened a while ago, yes the details are sketchy and yes..it just now became urgent enough to call. Why wait til everyone is awake?
The "Is everything OK" guy: You know those times where it is slower out on patrol and several cars show up for a relatively low priority call to a residence? Tell me that you will not be approached by someone who must walk into the mix to ask "Is everything OK?" or "Is there something I should know about?" Well sir, didn't you get the voice mail we left making sure you were aware of everything we were doing and every place we were going? I mean, we tried several times to make you aware of something we needed you to know about....
The "I know my rights" lady: Let's be honest: you most likely don't. What is certain is that I don't want to hear about it. What's even more certain is that I wish you would definitely exercise your right to remain silent. What little you probably do know is inaccurate at best, opposite of reality at worst. This pet-peeve is cousin to the honorable mention pet-peeve: "I'm gonna have your job" statement. Sorry, long line; forms at the back.
The abuse of 911 crowd: If you've ever thought "Who calls 911 because someone said something mean about them on Facebook?" or "Would someone really call 911 because a family member ate the last chicken wing?" then you're in the percentage of the population that would be normal. Believe me, there's a significant portion that is not.
The unoriginal insult: The standard insults related to all things appearance and donuts and "you're not so tough without a badge and a gun" is actually pretty boring. If you're going to insult us, you're gonna need to be original for it to stand a chance at getting a response. I will generally give full credit to the guy or gal who insults me with some semblance of intelligence or humor and congratulate them for getting a good shot in.
The cops/dispatchers who love the sound of their own voice and story over the radio: It's not just weird citizens or criminals that stress us out. We have all heard these unnecessarily long droning radio transmissions that are not only eating up valuable air time but kill the brain cells of those receiving the transmission. Every time this happens I feel like the principal in Billy Madison:
"...what you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."
If you like these types of lists, check out of "18 Things Not to Say to a Cop"!