If you have ever stood near or overheard a police radio, you will hear all sorts of codes and language that doesn’t sound familiar. This is because law enforcement agencies across the country adopt their own “slang” to interact with their community. They will even take derogatory language off the street because it becomes useful to communicate with communities. Police officers in Los Angeles will sound different compared to police officers in New York because the local slang of each area differs. Nonpub.com has dealt with law enforcement agencies across the nation and we have found there are broad, general slang terms, and there are area specific slang terms.
Why do Police use different words for things?
It is important to realize that law enforcement agents and police have to communicate with multiple communities within their specific area of work. This means that they are exposed to many different languages and slang terminology. Criminals do not tend to be the brightest in the bunch, and this leads to under educated, poorly literate people who communicate in ways that are available to them. This is usually known as “street slang”. In order to communicate with criminals better, quality police officers will learn the slang of the areas they patrol to understand their communities and enforce the law.
How is it advantageous for Police to use Slang terms?
In most instances, using slang terms speeds up conversations while police move in to investigate. Sometimes it is easier to give a broad generalization at the beginning of an investigation to headquarters because there are more pressing issues taking attention away from describing things in full. Using police slang can also be advantageous while talking to perpetrators and potential criminals. It can lead to information that would otherwise be unknown had the officers not understood the slang being used.
Do Police have to learn the language to be able to speak like that?
Slang is an acquired language and it is acquired through exposure. There is no rosetta stone for learning street slang because street slang is dynamic and fluid with every community and nation. Certain words become used in everyday vernacular because they are used by the majority of a community and can spread from there. This leads to certain slang terms being globally understood. For example, “bookie” is understood globally as a bookmaker. Other terms are only known in their specific region of the world, ie “barfbag” is understood in specific police precincts in the United States as police jargon for a criminal. Here is a list of police slang, street slang, and other terminology that can be overheard between criminals, police, and their communities: http://www.freephonesearch.com/police-slang-terms/
When it comes to keeping the peace and ascerting authority, it is important to understand the language between everyone involved. Understanding street slang helps police understand the communities they patrol. This leads to better relations for everyone involved. Here at Nonpub.com, we believe that it is important for everyone to understand each other. This makes things easier and avoids unnecessary problems when it comes to anything associated with law enforcement.