Top 25 Terms Every Police Officer Should Know

There are many police officer terms that a law enforcement officer will need to use on a daily basis to do their job and communicate with their fellow officers and law enforcement professionals. Some may also refer to police officer terms as jargon, because only those in the law enforcement field can understand someone speaking with a great deal of these terms. There is a very large body of acronyms, abbreviations, codes and slang used by law enforcement personnel to provide quick and concise descriptions of people, places, property and situations. Law enforcement officers must learn a huge list of general police officer terms in order to pass examinations, so they will be ready for both spoken and written communication in the field.

There are many police officer terms, and it would be ludicrous to attempt to list them all in one simple article. There are slang terms, numerical and alphanumerical codes, subject descriptions, code violations, initials and descriptive terms. The following are perhaps the top 25 terms every police officer should know to do their job on a daily basis:

  1. APB: All Points Bulletin
  2. APC: All Points County
  3. CJ: County Jail
  4. Civies: A term used to describe non-uniform clothes used in undercover operations.
  5. Compstat: A method of tracking criminal activity and subsequent enforcement.
  6. Condition: A problem or concern in need of police attention.
  7. DA: District Attorney
  8. DV: Domestic Violence
  9. DOB: Date Of Birth
  10. DOA: Dead on Arrival
  11. EC: Emergency Contact
  12. FD: Fire Department
  13. NAT: Necessary Action Taken
  14. Puke: A pejorative for an inmate of the county jail or state prison.
  15. PA: Prosecuting Attorney
  16. PC: Probable Cause (Reasonable Suspicion for arrest or stop)
  17. PD: Police Department
  18. RO: Registered Owner
  19. RP: Reporting Person or Party
  20. SO: Sheriff’s Office
  21. SA: State’s Attorney
  22. SNEU: Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit
  23. Skell: An unsavory character, often used by New York City Police Officers.
  24. Skell Gel: An antibacterial lotion used by officers after contact with “skells.”
  25. Wood Shampoo: Using less than lethal force to gain voluntary compliance.

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