Everything You Didn't Know About American Police - ForumDaily
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Everything you didn't know about American police

Cops, fifths tokens, cops or just police. We know them from loud scandals and cool fighters. Where do these guys come from and what do they do? Artem Mazanov told in the material for TJournal.

Photo: Shutterstock

In the article I want to share my knowledge about this structure. I myself am fond of the topic of US police since 2011, I corresponded with some officers by mail, so the letters written in the article are close or true.

The main distinguishing feature of the US police from the law enforcement agencies of other countries is this: every city in America, every state has its own police department, independent of the others. In the following posts I plan to tell in detail about the major city police departments: LAPD, NYPD, SFPD.

The US police have their own characteristics. Titles are not awarded based on length of service—promotion requires a considerable amount of training and passing exams, spouses are prohibited from working in the same department, and when transferred from one department to another, an officer’s service record is lost.

In the US, the police are conditionally divided into the following categories:

• Federal Police - is responsible for maintaining law and order, ensuring security and creating a safe environment in which federal agencies can carry out their activities. The work of the department is aimed at the country's internal security and reducing the number of crimes and potential threats to US federal facilities.

• State Police - Provides law and order in the state capital, is engaged in the protection of the governor and monitors the interstate highways and freeways. In each state, the powers that departments are vested in are very different from each other.

• City Police - employees of the department work only within the city boundaries. They have the right to continue the prosecution of the criminal in other jurisdictions, but this will end up in that the detainee will be “taken away” by local officers or sheriffs. The article describes the work of employees of the city departments.

• Sheriffs — the jurisdiction of the sheriff includes the territory of the county, in large counties - part of the territory where the municipal police does not operate. In almost all US states, the position of sheriff is elected. Employees working in the sheriff's office may have one of the following ranks, depending on the county: Deputy sheriff, Sheriff's police or Sheriff's officer.

"How much you earn" or the salary of a police officer in the United States (per year)

• Los Angeles Police Department

62 118 dollars - The base salary of an employee of the Department upon admission to the police academy, is paid until its completion.

65 521 dollars - the salary of the police officer of the first classification on probation after graduation from the academy.

70 240 dollars - the salary of a police officer of the second classification who does not have a college diploma, military experience or previous experience in law enforcement

72 976 dollars - The salary of a police officer of the second classification, who received a higher education (AA or higher) or has at least two years of military or previous experience in law enforcement.

• New York City Police Department

42 500 dollars - starting salary for an officer of the Police Department.

85 292 dollars - The salary of a police officer after working experience in 5 ½ years.

• San Francisco Police Department

83 018 dollars - starting salary for a police officer.

115 544 dollars - The salary of a police officer after seven years of service.

Benefits for the police officer on the example of the Department of the city of New York

• 27 paid vacation days after 5 years of service;

• Unlimited sick leave with full pay;

• Choice of packages of medical benefits;

• Retirement with half the salary after 22 years of service.

Of course, each department has its own benefits. For example, in San Francisco, an officer who has been working for the first five years is given 10 paid vacation days. And 20 vacation days are given only after 15 years of service.

How to become a police officer? On the example of the Department of Los Angeles

For mere mortals, the only way is through the academy. Here we have 7 stages of verification - from filling out a questionnaire, which will not only show whether you are capable of becoming a police officer, but also explain in general terms what you are getting into.

You will fill in a considerable amount of papers and answer the questions of interest to the commission, pass an examination, receive certification and an appointment. However, you must be a US citizen. If you have no complaints, welcome to the academy. Studying at the academy is free, you also get a full-fledged salary throughout the entire period of training.

The course itself lasts 6 months, and most of it is to be spent at the table in classrooms. You will be taught to communicate politely with people, knowledge of the law, psychological techniques and chips.

Note: the police officer must be polite with you as long as you are polite to him.

Insult an officer and he has the right to arrest you. To the knowledge gained, add the technique of radio communications; a special system of abbreviations applies here:

• Codes (codes) - to describe the general situation. For example, CODE 4 (4 thumb up, can be seen in many films) - the situation is under control;

• Tenco codes (ten-codes) - for the rapid transmission of information on the radio. 10-4 - accepted;

• Sign Code (hands codes) - often used by special units, when you can not burn hissing radio.

Special attention is paid to physical condition. Future patrols should not stumble over their own stomach. You will master the process of arrest and execution of the detainee. They will show you the tactics of hand-to-hand combat, give you a car and demonstrate how not to ruin either yourself or your partner during the pursuit.

Still not disappointed their instructors and you are not expelled? Then stage with the use of firearms. It is worth remembering that for each cartridge released an officer is responsible and maintains accountability.

At the end of the training, a graduation ceremony takes place, where future officers receive a service weapon and an officer's token. The best students also receive special awards from the Department Command. By tradition, graduates throw up their caps and receive congratulations from loved ones, as well as from the "oldies" of the department.

You have never screwed up. Academy behind!

Now begins the full work of the cop. You join the general system and get a rank Police officer i - the first rank in the general structure, an object for jokes on the part of colleagues, a novice running among slender rows of veterans, shouting "Yes, sir" and "No, sir." You will be under the constant supervision of the officer-curator.

At the end of the stage, which lasts a year, you need to get a positive review of the curator. According to tradition, all “newbies” are required to wear a long-sleeved shirt until the “nurse” gives the go-ahead to look like a tough guy with short sleeves.

It is worth noting that the academy is not the only way to get into the ranks of officers. The departments have civilian positions and a transfer system from other structures.

Use of force by the police

Surely you read the news that the US police officer once again shot someone. It may seem that the officers are firing on every occasion. No, in each department there is an instruction providing for the stages of use of force followed by each officer. The latter is the use of firearms. She is resorted to only if the life of an officer or another civilian is in mortal danger.

Each murder is investigated by the internal investigation unit, a special division within each department. Its employees consider the legality of the use of force by an officer who, while under investigation, is suspended from work.

1. To protect oneself and others when there is a risk of death or serious injury;

2. To prevent a crime in which someone is in mortal danger or there is a risk of serious bodily harm;

3. When escaping a detainee or a criminal, when there is reason to believe that the escape will pose a significant risk of death or serious injury.

Police standards for the use of force, prescribed to death in Los Angeles police officers

In the USA, the police very rarely shoot “in the air”, and also do not fire on the legs or arms. The officers, if they open fire, then already to be defeated.



Most likely, you have seen the video of numerous police cars rushing through the streets of the United States after one civilian. The pursuit of suspects is another difference from the law enforcement agencies of other countries, for example, Russia.

If you decide to leave the police, violating the road code - unfortunately, it will not work. First you will be followed by one siren patrol car, in a few minutes there will be more of them in 5, and a police helicopter will appear in the air. And you will be stopped at any cost. In the academy, future officers are taught to do various pit maneuvers on the roads to stop the intruder. Therefore, as soon as you find yourself in a suitable area for the police - a patrol car will enter the car, you will be blocked during the movement or will perform maneuvers, after which you will definitely bump into something.

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