Why Are American Policemen Called Cops?

Although American police departments were formed after a study of the British police system, American policemen did not inherit the British nickname for their officers. Instead, American policemen became known as “cops” or “coppers.”

There are two theories as to how these names came about.

Some say that because New York policemen once wore an 8-pointed copper star on their uniforms, the name “copper” was given to them. Other people say that “cop” came from the first letters of the description of the policemen, “Constable On Patrol.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

3 thoughts on “Why Are American Policemen Called Cops?”

  1. once I’ve head a story why American policemen called cops is… there was a statue of police man in front of Police museum in chicago that statue is(or was) made with copper wear…that’s what I heard

  2. I cannot explain in small words everything wrong with your comment, I will just translate, it is easier.
    “Once I heard a story about why U.S. policemen are called cops, there was a statue of a policeman in front of the Police Museum in Chicago, that statue was cast in copper.”
    Please learn to spell then no-one else on Earth has to puzzle over your barely literate ramblings.

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