Police Work: Public Expectations and Myths


The work of the police is surrounded by various myths developed through TV and literature that picture it differently from real activities. It makes ordinary people believe that police officers encounter danger every day and deal with many events that are very important for national security. While the latter is true, this perspective lacks objectivity as there is too much romanticism surrounding it. Some of the most popular myths include the universalism of police workers, the amount of violence they encounter, and the list of their daily activities.

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Various criminal dramas often feature one or several police officers arriving at a spot of investigation and starting to make predictions about what happened. However, in reality, there are different specialists that focus on their part of the work. For instance, officers that usually patrol the streets do not investigate a crime scene. Their task is to surround the spot and prevent civilians from entering it. Detectives are the ones who have to collect informational evidence and ask witnesses about what happened. As for the material evidence, it is collected and studied by special units working in laboratories. These people perform such activities as blood and DNA tests, studies of particles left on the spot, and other things. Finally, there is a great number of specialists who focus on the physics of the crime like the distance of shooting or the weight of a gun.


One of the most popular subjects in movies is violence. Producers often picture police officers engaged in investigating cruel murders or kidnapping. This perception makes people believe that working in the police is very dangerous and stressful. While this is partially true, statistics show that there are not so many events of this type. Some of the most widespread crimes are shoplifting, theft, and physical conflicts between drunk people. Most of the actions required in such cases are limited to filling out a protocol and arresting criminals if the law calls for that. Of course, there are cases like terrorist attacks or school shootings, yet they are rare and can be considered an untypical part of the police work.


Another popular myth that is often shared by ordinary people is that police officer are regularly engaged in active events like chasing a stolen car or running after a murderer. However, the reality proves that most of the time police officers work with papers. The police is a part of a large structure that guards citizens and deals with criminals according to the law. Legal matters require a lot of paperwork to ensure that no evidence is lost and all charges are put according to the local regulations. While people expect police officers to be active and run around a city looking for clues or suspects, it is not a part of their daily duties. Paperwork helps to keep evidence in order, supports statistical analysis of an area, and is useful when reviewing cases in the court.


While mass media has created a perception of a police worker who heroically fights criminals and is always on the streets, the reality is much more prosaic. It is a job that requires a lot of activities with paperwork and patrolling. Nevertheless, they are often very important and help to guard the lives of citizens even though it not as romantic as seen on TV.

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1. StudyCorgi. "Police Work: Public Expectations and Myths." May 21, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/police-work-public-expectations-and-myths/.


StudyCorgi. "Police Work: Public Expectations and Myths." May 21, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/police-work-public-expectations-and-myths/.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Police Work: Public Expectations and Myths." May 21, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/police-work-public-expectations-and-myths/.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Police Work: Public Expectations and Myths'. 21 May.

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