Monday, January 21, 2008


Isn’t it interesting all the designations there are for Officers of the Law? I’m not talking about slang like Cops or The Fuzz (that’s an old one isn’t it?). I am talking about degrees and distinctions.

Most are called Police Officers, but oddly in France that is an insulting phrase to law enforcement personnel because it sounds like they work in offices and never have hands on duties. It seems that the term Desk Sergeant could be frowned upon by people who have that title.

Most police departments adhere to military titles such as Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and sometimes Major or Colonel. They never seem to have Privates or Generals, but they do have Chiefs. I wonder why a Chief and not a General?

Other than rank there are all sorts of police, which are known as Officers, Troopers, Sheriffs, Marshals, Agents, Special Agents, Investigators, Special Investigators, Detectives and all sorts of Deputies between. My favorite is Constable. I think it is cool to have a Constabulary.

It just seems odd to me that law enforcement hasn’t gotten together to condense the titles into something less confusing. I’m sure it all has to do with jurisdiction, but the law is the law. If we are expected to obey the laws it would help law breakers to know what powers they are up against.

How about a deck of cards like they had to rate Iraq’s most wanted. That way we’d know that a Sheriff, a Deputy and a Marshal beats a pair of Sergeants.


Blogger Uncle Walt said...

They have military-esq titles, because they started as semi-military groups. At least in the USofA.

Which is also where "trooper" and "ranger" comes from. The semi-military (or "militia" if you will) beginnings of those organizations.

"Chief" is a military title, as well. Though IIRC, it's a Navy title equivalent to "sergeant". So that doesn't answer your question, but raises others.

A Sheriff (county) "outranks" a Chief (city). Though both are "outranked" by a Marshall (federal). Unless, of course, you realize that the feds aren't supposed to have police.

"Governor" is also a military title, btw.

Your cards would have to have jurisdictions. After all, a pair of Sergeants in their jurisdiction, outrank the others when the others are in the sergeants' jurisdiction. And a single IRS agent outranks anybody it wants to.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Did you know that when an FBI Agent introduces themselves as "Special Agent J. Doe" it's no big deal as ALL FBI Agents are designated as "Special Agent". Now isn't THAT just SPECIAL?????

1:28 PM  
Blogger : JustaDog said...

Don't taze me bro!

4:29 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I have to hand it to you, Walt. If tax dollars pay for it, you make sure you know all the angles. Thanks.

Mike, that's almost secret special.

Dog, that cracked me up. My other favorite is, "Can't we all just get along?"

5:34 PM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

According to the man who raised me, two seargents beat a three chiefs - you just had to know where his bank account was.

10:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home