Movies & Television

The Things Cop Shows Get Wrong About Being an Officer

There are about a million and one things people often get wrong about cops in real life. No, don’t love going to coffee shops and getting doughnuts—OK, maybe there is a little truth to that, but who doesn’t love a late-night donut run? Read on to learn some of the things cop shows get wrong about being an officer.

No, Police Officers Don’t Always Look Like Captain America

As much as you’d love to see Channing Tatum become a cop IRL, it just won’t happen. Same with Terri Crews in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. While these gentlemen are quite fine, real-life officers don’t look like them all the time. If you really need a fix of handsome police officers, stick to the movies and TV shows; that’s where you will find your dream man.

Officers Seldomly Draw Firearms, Even in Cities

It’s common in shows like CSI, Law and Order, and every cop movie and shows known to humankind for officers to draw firearms often. It’s infrequent for an officer to draw their firearm in any environment, including crowded spaces.

Let’s clear something up—do officers have rules for unholstering? Yes and no. There are no clear rules regarding when a policeperson can unholster their firearm. While it does make sense for a cop to keep their holster on the ready for protection, there are procedures they learn in training. First, they identify the reasoning and issues of a situation.

They cannot use their firearm to threaten another’s safety, nor can they hold it up while walking through a building or public place without reason. Additionally, police should not draw their weapon without a description of the issue. They must understand what’s going on and if there are other threats present.

The Clothes Are All Wrong

The other thing cop shows keep getting wrong about police officers is the clothing. While you might expect the clothing department of historical shows such as Bridgerton to get things wrong, even a modern show about cops can mess up. When did you last see a cop walking down the street in a business suit? Yeah—neither have we.

The other common misconception is that their tactical gear makes them bulletproof. There are many misconceptions about tactical gear, but the number one thing to clarify is that protective gear, such as a bulletproof vest, doesn’t make you bulletproof.

We’d all like to be Luke Cage and have indestructible skin, but it’s impossible. So, the next time you watch a cop show, point out their similarities and differences to real life. What you bring up to compare in real life could develop a more profound love for the TV show and spark fun conversations.

Dianne Pajo
the authorDianne Pajo
Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.