10 Things About Cop Shows That Makes No Sense


For decades, cop shows have been a staple on Primetime TV. Writers across each network have given cops a voice mixed with heart, backstories, and tons of action. However, as great as shows such as Chicago PD, FBI, Law and Order SVU, and others have been, there have been gaping holes when it comes to certain aspects.

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Take a show such as The Blacklist who takes its cues from the crooked Raymond Reddington. Or, Brooklyn Nine-Nine that tends to leam more on the comedic side of things. Cop shows have sparked heavy debate over the years regarding the realness of their storylines and approach.

10 Running In Hard-Bottom Shoes

Danny in Blue Bloods

The majority of the cops shows on Primetime TV will showcase officers in suits and shoes. While that may be the norm, for most common folk out here, there’s a slight problem. It’s hard enough walking in hard-bottom shoes but running in them is downright impossible.

Take a look at a show like FBI. Agent Omar Zidan’s feet must be killing him after shift. The same thing with Danny Reagan in Blue Bloods. A perp will flee the scene and they will give chase. But at what cost? Walking just a few blocks for normal people is enough but chasing someone for blocks at a time is asking too much.

9 “We Can Help”

Omar Little on Trial. The Wire.

The Interrogation Room is a huge part of any cop show. Once inside, this is where most cases are either made or broken. With the right cop doing the interrogation, a criminal can change their tune the moment they sit down.

As good as some cops are in getting the truth, they all tend to lead with the classic phrase of “if you help us, we can help you”. But how many times have viewers actually seen this happen? Maybe a deal is made off-screen but it’s rarely shown to the audience.

8 Families Are Safe

There have been cases in cop shows where families have been harmed. But for the most part, it’s pretty strange that it doesn’t happen more often. For the cops in these shows, they’re often recognized and that makes their families recognizable as well.

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Blue Bloods touched on this early on with Frank Reagan being the Police Commissioner and his sons on the force. Families walk the streets as if their husbands, wives, and kids are not cops and their life is not in danger. They do a job that places them in danger and everyone in their family is safe? Not realistic at all.

7 No Dating Rule

Erin Lindsay (Sophia Bush) and Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) in the drama "Chicago P.D."

In the real world, this may be something the Police Department and any Law Enforcement Agency may follow. However, this is television where relationships are bound to happen and one that viewers are often engaged in and expect to happen. No romance on the force is supposed to be enforced so why do they keep letting it happen?

Name a cop show where two single partners of the opposite sex can never get together or even have a thought of being together. Each time, the officers must keep their relationship a secret which turns out to end badly.

6 Cover Never Blown

One of the biggest mistakes writers often make with their cop shows are the undercover storylines. Take Chicago PD or the old school New York Undercover for example. One of the best, Kevin Atwater often goes undercover, sometimes in his own neighborhood, and yet, no one seems to recognize them.

Going undercover is always a rush but doing it in your own backyard makes it that more intense. But how can an officer drive around in a city, live there, arrest people, and kick in doors then come up with a fake name and no one seems to remember their faces?

5 Quick Transportation

New York City is huge when it comes to its five Burroughs. In shows such as Blue Bloods and FBI, the cops here can get from the Bronx to Long Island in a matter of minutes. How does this happen? Viewers can understand the time restraints put on an episode but at least make it a little more believable.

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Getting from the Bronx to Manhattan in a car could easily take a drive 30-40 minutes by car with no traffic. So how does an officer make it in the middle of the day or rush hour in 10 minutes? It may be television but NYC is still NYC and that means traffic.

4 Outsmart The Criminal

Olivia Benson played Mariska Hargitay in Law & Order SVU

Another issue that cop shows tend to run into is how smart cops are. Most criminals have planned their criminal activity for days, sometimes months, or years and in a few moments, some cop has the entire plan figured out. How is that possible?

Criminal Minds was a show based on profiling but as great as they were, they were cases where the answers came entirely too quick for the audience. But a show like FBI where terrorists may be at play, well, that takes planning. As good of a Detective as Olivia Benson is, there is no way she should be able to look at the scene for one minute and have the entire plan figured out just like that.

3 Bad Aim

Dawson in Chicago PD

Shootouts are one of the highlights when it comes to cop shops. Viewers love action and there has been no shortage of that when police or federal agents are involved. However, there is one drawback here that makes no sense at all. In the firing range, each officer has shown the ability to be special marksmen.

But when in the field, they can’t hit anything. And the same foes for the criminals. A cop kicks in the door and they’re exposed. But the criminal always misses his first few shots when he has the takedown opportunity.

2 Lack Of Strong Leading Ladies

Some of the best officers on TV are women. However, they often take a backseat to men on the force. The writers give men the role of the tough cops and while some women have shown they can handle themselves in the field. It’s usually their backstory where the writers make judgment errors.

Men were born onto this life while the women suffered some type of trauma that made them join the force. Take a character like Kate Beckett of Castle. She was strong and determined and yet, they made her almost take a backseat to Richard Castle. Even on FBI, Maggie is the top lead but its OA who does all the undercover work has the best fight scenes. Where is the respect for women on the force?

1 No GPS Needed

Criminals Minds Cast photo

Making your way around a city you’re familiar with is one thing. A script can get you from the Bronx to Manhattan in 10 minutes and that’s something that fans may be willing to overlook for the sake of the story. However, there’s one thing that often confuses most when it comes to cop shows.

Take a show such as Criminal Minds who does plenty of traveling from city to city each episode. How do they find their way around town when they just landed and viewers never see them use any type of GPS for directions?

NEXT: 10 Things Movies & TV Shows Always Get Wrong About Cops


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