Today let’s take a look at some police-related vocabulary that would be good to add to you English lexicon.
First of all, there are a number of words in English used to talk about police officers. A police officer is a member of the local government who is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and maintaining order. In English sometimes we call police officers by these different names: policeman or policewoman, officer, cop, or ‘men in blue.’ A detective is a police officer who works specifically in investigating and solving crimes.
Here is some more police-related vocabulary that is good to know:
to arrest – to take into police control or custody
bail – money that someone pays (after having been arrested) as their promise to appear in court, in order to be set free until their court date
criminal – a person who has committed a crime
crime – an action that is considered illegal
cruiser (or squad car) – a police vehicle with lights and sirens and official markings
felony – a major crime (like a murder)
firearm – a weapon that shots bullets, i.e. a gun or pistol
guilty – responsible for a crime
handcuffs – metal rings that go around the wrists that the police use to keep people from escaping
innocent – not responsible for a crime
jail (or prison) – a place where criminals must stay (prisons are usually big facilities and hold people for long periods of time; jails are usually smaller and for shorter stays)
misdemeanor – a minor or small crime (like theft or stealing)
a witness – a person who sees a crime
to witness – to observe a crime
Now, here are some practice fill-in-the-blank sentences using this vocabulary. You can check your answers below.
1. Did anybody call the ______ yet? Dial 911, we need help.
2. Murder is considered a _________ and can be punishable with up to life in prison.
3. The cops put the man in ______________ and put him in the back of the squad car.
4. In the United States people are presumed ______________ until proven _____________.
5. My cousin had to pay $10,000 in __________ after he was caught drinking and driving. His court date is in two weeks.
6. There were no ______________ to the crime, so the police had no one to ask what happened.
7. The only people allowed to have _____________ in the courthouse are police officers. This is for everyone’s safety.
8. The policewoman had to _____________ the young boy for stealing, even though he only took the food because he was hungry.
1. police or cops
4. innocent; guilty