NY cop slang

Mullins, Bill Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Fri Apr 22 21:19:47 UTC 2005

"About New York" Meyer Berger New York Times; Oct 20, 1958; pg. 34 col 1

"Some of the items in the New York Police Department glossary are
interesting.  A-men are men in the automobile squad.  A uniform is a
bag.  A policeman calls his arrest and summons record his batting
average.  Detectives are brains.  The broom is the station house
custodian.  A detective's shield is a button, potsy, or tin.  Any
stretcher case is a carry.
     Unidentified dead destined for potter's field are C. C. (City
Cemetary) cases.  Chopper coppers are helicopter fliers.  Any spot that
takes a policeman out of the rain is a coop, or a heave.  A motorist who
drives with one eye on his rear-vision mirror is a cutie.  Departmental
charges against a policeman are didoes, or small ones.
     A motorcycle policeman revving up in pursuit of a violator is
dumping it in.  The foxy motorist who slows almost to a halt when he
senses pursuit drops dead.  A transfer from one police command to
another is flying.  An easy arrest is a grounder and a speed violator is
a heavy foot.  A cutpurse who goes after women's off-the-shoulder bags
is a hanger binger, and a cop assigned to narcotic cases is a hombre, or
the Man.
     A man a long time on the police force is a hairbag.  The man who
wins a promotion is "made."  The precinct captain is the Old Man or
Skipper.  The policeman who hands a summons to a motorist puts him in
the satchel.  A fine for violation of police regulations is a rip.  A
spying department superior is still a shoofly.  A salute to a superior
office is a slam, or a highball.  A man on desk duty has the stick.  An
informer is a stool, or stoolie.  A complaint is a squeal.  When you
follow a suspect you give him a tail.
     A policeman doesn't subdue a truculent prisoner; he tranquilizes
him.  A man who leaves home is a walk-out to the Missing Persons Bureau;
a man on motorcycle duty is on the wheel and a lieutenant who heads a
detective squad is the whip.
     Even the Communications Division has its own terms.  A busy
switchboard at Police Headquarters is, by poetic touch, a Christmas

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