One of the questions POAM members hear more often than not is, “What have you learned about society as a police officer that some people might not realize?” The answer is not a simple one. POAM members, from the police officers patrolling the streets to the 911 dispatchers taking citizens’ calls to the corrections officer and emergency medical services employees, all have the opportunity to see society in ways that most people do not.

PoliceOne’s Tim Dees recently wrote about his experience with society as a police officer and wrote his “13 things we wish the general public knew about police work.” Out of Dees’ 13, we’ve picked out our four favorites. They are as follows:

2. ) Everyone has a “hot button.” Calm and even-tempered as you might be, there is some topic that will set you off, especially if it’s referenced to you personally. It might be your height, your weight, your sexuality, your education, how much money you have, your mom, whatever. Rational people can become maniacs if someone pushes their buttons.

3.) Although they may not know it, there are people who find these hot buttons instinctively, and they live to push them.

10.) Many criminals can be reformed, and eventually do come to the point in their lives that a criminal lifestyle is more trouble than it’s worth to them. Unfortunately, by the time some of them do that, they have incurred a prison sentence that will keep them behind bars until they die.

13.) Take away alcohol and stupid, and the world would require about 90 percent fewer cops.

What are things you wish people knew about police work that they might not? Sound off in the comments about what you want people to know!


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