Saturday, January 16, 2010

Police vs. Cops

Last night while looking at a Police Wives group on Facebook I noticed that some of the women said they were bothered by the term 'cop'. And I was recently invited to a Police Wives Club, which I am very excited about, and also jealous of because I never thought of just using the term 'police' with 'wife' after it. When trying to come up with a name for our group it went something like, "Do we call ourselves Police Officer's Wives Club? Law Enforcement Wives Club? Wives of Police and Deputies Club?" No matter what we called it we continued to become tongue tied and ended up with Cop's Wives Club. So much easier to say, plus, we can call it CWC for short and it sounds neat.

This morning at our monthly Cop's Wives Club I posed the questions, "Are you offended by the term 'cop'? Is your husband?" The discussion was really short lived and we all laughed at how easily we fell into naming our group Cop's Wives, but I wondered why the term was offensive to some. One of the gals said her husband told her he preferred police officer, but considering some of the things people call him, he'll take cop. Ha!

I decided to Google what the origins of the word "cop" were and found some interesting stuff. I guess years ago in New York sergeants had copper badges and that could be where the term comes from. Or it could be an acronym for "constable on patrol". Interesting, right? It seems the real reason the term cop came about isn't either of those reasons but instead cop comes from the slang verb 'cop' meaning 'to seize or take hold'. So, our police officer's 'cop' the bad guy. You can read someone's else's way more educational explanation here.

I never really thought of 'cop' being a derogatory term because really there are so many disrespectful things my husband and his colleagues have been called. During Officer Hottie's first few months on patrol he went to a call, and the teenager who answered the door was on her phone and said, "I gotta go. The popo are here." Seriously? This is young America? Obviously we need to teach our children to be more respectful (I could totally tangent here!) but I decided I'm going to be ok with the term 'cop'. Plus, I feel it is all encompassing. In our area we have Police officers, State patrolmen and Sheriff's Deputies and it is just easier to say cop and avoid the risk of calling one of them the wrong thing.

All that said, I love the Cop's Wives Club. What a blessing today was for me. We had three new women which was so wonderful. And we took the time to pray for our husbands, which was incredible. I love how open and honest our group is and I love that we all feel so safe together. The fellowship was sweet, the food was fantastic and I feel like we all went away feeling uplifted and even more supportive of our husband's role in the world. These cops of ours sure do have some fantastic women to come home to!

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