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What does COP mean?

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6921071_max50

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Posted over 5 years ago

 

This has been bugging the crap out of me, what does COP stand for, or mean?  Is it an acronym?  What does Copper mean?  I know everyone uses it, but I am just really curious as to where it came from since the first law enforcement guys were bobbies or shire reeves.


"Train like there is no tomorrow, and there will be a tomorrow!" - Unknown

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I meant to say I know what it means, but what does it stand for acronym wise, or what was the original meaning?


"Train like there is no tomorrow, and there will be a tomorrow!" - Unknown

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

When the first police force began to patrol in the summer of 1845, they only used badges on their civilian clothing. The badges were 8 pointed stars with the seal of the City at the center and were made of stamped copper. The newspapers of the time referred to the new force as the "Star Police" but people seeing the shiny copper shields began to call the new force "Coppers" which was later shortened to "Cops."
There is also a British police term; Constable On Patrol which may account for the term "cops" in England as well.

source: NYCpolicemuseum.org

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

4USA, I am not disagreeing with you, but I always thought that COP was for "Citizens on Patrol" and actually started out as particular people, with a high standing in the community, were working as, basically, volunteers in their own neighborhoods. I know that the first ones worked for damned near nothing.


Just like the Sheriff's from out in here in the "old west".


I could be wrong.  I was twice, with 2 ex-wives who will vouch for that!


John, Ret SO, in Fort Stinkin Desert AZ.

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Awesome, thanks for the help.


"Train like there is no tomorrow, and there will be a tomorrow!" - Unknown

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I've heard several times that it came from the copper badges that they wore.  But, I've also heard many other explantions, such as cop being a slang term for capture.  To be certain, I don't think that there is one absolute answer.

Explorer_mourning_badge_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

I have heard the same explaination as 4USA on the History Channel.  While that doesn't make it concrete, thats all I have heard up until I read cntymnty's comment!  You learn something new every day, or question what you thought you knew!


"Live every day like its a good stopping point"
_WNP '89-05

The_tick_max160_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

I heard it was because of the buttons of the uniform the got the name coppers which was later shorten to cop or it could mean "conservator of the peace

Policelinkbadge_max160_max160_max50

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4USA says ...



I've heard several times that it came from the copper badges that they wore.  But, I've also heard many other explantions, such as cop being a slang term for capture.  To be certain, I don't think that there is one absolute answer.



I've heard that one also.


 


I think it could mean absolutely anything.


Making a personal acronym to associate with personal experiences would be pretty cool.


Amateurs train until they get it right, Professionals train until they can't get it wrong.

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constables of peel. you know sir robert peel

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rickm says ...



constables of peel. you know sir robert peel



Ya gotta love Sir Peel.

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peels principles, still good after all those years

6921071_max50

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rickm says ...



constables of peel. you know sir robert peel



makes sense.


"Train like there is no tomorrow, and there will be a tomorrow!" - Unknown

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I know i'm gonna get a smack in the back of the head for asking this but , who is sir robert peel?

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ghudson456 says ...



I know i'm gonna get a smack in the back of the head for asking this but , who is sir robert peel?



Shame on you...........



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Peel

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

OK I am pulling this straight off of Wikipedia.


Cop or Copper: While commonly believed to be an acronym for Constable On Patrol, the term refers to "one who captures or snatches". This word first appeared in the early 18th century, and can be matched with the word "cap", which has the same meaning and whose etymology can be traced to the Latin word 'capere'. (The word retains this meaning in other contexts: teenagers "cop a feel" on a date, and they have also been known to "cop an attitude".) Variation: Copper. It is also believed that the term Copper was the original, unshortened word, popularly believed to represent the copper badges American officers used to wear at the time of origin, but in fact probably used in Britain to mean "someone who cops" long before this.


 


Not concrete. It is wikipedia. But theres my two cents.

I_see_dumb_people_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

I've also read that the first printed forms that the London Metro Police used back in the Robert Peel days had the acronym "COP" for "Constable On Patrol" printed at the end of the line where the constables signed the form.


 


At any rate, "Cop" is a lot better than most of the names we get called!  ;)

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officer_1983 says ...



ghudson456 says ...



I know i'm gonna get a smack in the back of the head for asking this but , who is sir robert peel?



Shame on you...........



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Peel



 


Haha.


"Train like there is no tomorrow, and there will be a tomorrow!" - Unknown

Dome2_1__max50

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Etymology 1


From Latin and Old French capere (“‘to capture’”).



[edit] Verb

Infinitive
to cop 


Third person singular
cops 


Simple past
copped 


Past participle
copped 


Present participle
copping

to cop (third-person singular simple present cops, present participle copping, simple past and past participle copped)



  1. (informal) To capture, get hold of, take.


    • 2005, Martin Torgoff, Can't Find My Way Home, Simon & Schuster, page 10, Heroin appeared on the streets of our town for the first time, and Innie watched helplessly as his sixteen-year-old brother began taking the train to Harlem to cop smack.




[edit] Derived terms

  • cop a feel

  • cop off

  • cop on

  • cop out, cop-out


[edit] Etymology 2

Short for copper (“‘police officer’”), itself from cop (“‘one who cops’”) above, i.e. a criminal. Sometimes explained as deriving from copper buttons or badges of early NYPD or uniforms or on those worn by the first London Police Force of the 1820s, though this is often stated to be a folk etymology. 'Cop' has long existed as a verb meaning "to take or seize"; the first example of 'cop' taking the meaning 'to arrest' appeared in 1844, and the word swiftly moved from simply meaning 'to arrest into police custody' to encompass the individual doing the detaining. (Reference: http://www.snopes.com/language/acronyms/cop.asp Snopes Article )



[edit] Noun

Singular
cop 


Plural
cops

cop (plural cops)



  1. (slang, law enforcement) A police officer.

 And Sir Robert Peel is the guy who "bobbies" adn "peelers" are named for! (G)


Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet (5 February 1788 – 2 July 1850) was the Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 December 1834 to 8 April 1835, and again from 30 August 1841 to 29 June 1846. He helped create the modern concept of the police force while Home Secretary (leading to officers being known as "bobbies", in England, or Peelers, in Ireland, to this day), oversaw the formation of the Conservative Party out of the shattered Tory Party, and repealed the Corn Laws.


 

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Rated +1 | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

I used to teach "Basic Crime Prevention" at the Academy and I always taught them that the term originated from the copper buttons used on the uniforms of the police created by Sir Robert Peel in 1829. That's what I was taught in the same course sometime in 1981.

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

There is a decent article on Sir Robert Peel on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Peel.


For those of you who didn't know who he was.

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NoahBallard says ...



This has been bugging the crap out of me, what does COP stand for, or mean?  Is it an acronym?  What does Copper mean?  I know everyone uses it, but I am just really curious as to where it came from since the first law enforcement guys were bobbies or shire reeves.



This is one of those questions I have never had but sure glad you asked it. 

Spartan_cops_max50

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rickm says ...



constables of peel. you know sir robert peel



Haha, good one there Professor!


I knew it came from Copper Badges and Sir Robert Peel although never thought of it as "Citizens on Patrol"


This quote by Sir Robert Peel only reiterates the meaning:


The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.


 


While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.

Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but in finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong.

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xGTown5oh says ...



I heard it was because of the buttons of the uniform the got the name coppers which was later shorten to cop or it could mean "conservator of the peace



was just going to mention the buttons.


Adapt, improvise and overcome.
YaYa Dancing Wolf

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Constable of the Peace

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I know it comes from the badges that were worn in early law enforcement and it was a nickname given.  I like how it matches up with "Chief of Police" lol

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No definitive answer because of the variety of possible origins.  Regarding Sir Robert Peel's invaluable organizational model...can we say Community Oriented Policing? LOL!

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MarlyB says ...



No definitive answer because of the variety of possible origins.  Regarding Sir Robert Peel's invaluable organizational model...can we say Community Oriented Policing? LOL!



All I know is that Community Oriented Policing doesn't work all that great. So it can't possibly stand for that..........


While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.

Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but in finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong.

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

Community Oriented Policing is a fairly 'new' term.  New meaning 15 or so years that I am aware of.  The term COP has been around a lot longer than that.  I have been quoted by the friggin meaning when asked what Community Oriented Policing meant to me as, 'Its a fancy name the large agencies gave to what smaller agencies have been doing for years.'


You have the rest of your life to solve the problem, how long your life lasts depends on how well you do it. -Clint Smith

Respect it

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I read in an LE study book at one point that Cop is somewhat derogatory or offensive to police officers. Is that true? It seems to be thrown around rather casually.

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