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Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Police Officer?
by Mark Lichtenstein

Everybody's an expert on police work these days -- aren't we? After all, police officers are favorite main characters on TV and in the movies, whether it's the average uniformed officer on a beat or maverick detective in plainclothes. And TV and movie depictions have gotten far more sophisticated since the days of "Dragnet" and "Hawaii 5-0." Nowadays, law-enforcement dramas include depictions of forensic science and courtroom procedure and show deal with issues including racial justice and burnout. 

But does all this mean that you know all about the average police officer in the US, and what a typical day on the job is like? For example, do you know what type of gun is most favored by police departments? Or what kind of car most officers drive on the job -- or motorcycles if they're in a motorcycle division? Do you know if police officers are allowed -- or required --  to mediate in domestic disputes? Law enforcement is a complex and demanding job, and there's a lot we just don't see on TV. 

So if you want to test your knowledge of this challenging job -- and maybe see how you'd do if you had to spend a day wearing a badge -- try our 35-question quiz. We promise if you don't do well on it, you'll still be free to go!

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