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 Legal & Law Enforcement Terms
Cop Lingo -  Police dramas like NYPD BLUE/ABC/1993-2005; HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET/NBC/1993-99; and LAW & ORDER/NBC/1990+; sprinkle their scripts with special slang and terminology used by the cops on the beat.

NYPD Blue Police Badge

The following is a list of some of the words you might encounter while watching your favorite cop show:

  • BCI:  Bureau of Criminal Information; (fingerprint and criminal records section)
  • CCRB: Civilian Complaint Review Board
  • CSI:  Criminal Scene Investigation
  • CSU: Crime Scene Unit
  • DOA:  "dead on arrival"
  • DWI:  Driving While Intoxicated, (a.k.a. "Dee Wee")
  • DT:  Slang for Detective
  • EDP:  Emotionally Disturbed Person, (a.k.a. "nut job, psycho, mentally ill")
  • EMS:  Emergency Medical Services
  • ESU:  Emergency Services Unit
  • FAT:  Fugitive Apprehension Team\
  • Five-O:  Slang for police (derived from TV police drama HAWAII FIVE-O)
  • Flying;  as in "fly the coup" to another work assignment at another precinct
  • Go down:  as in "You're going down (being arrested for a crime)
  • Gun run:  Going in search of a gun used in crime
  • Hit:  To assault a known criminal location
  • IAB:  Internal Affairs Bureau, "cops who investigate cops"
  • Lawyering Up:  A suspect shuts up and requests a lawyer
  • Lou or Loo:  Slang for Lieutenant
  • MOS:  Member of the Service, a radio code word identifying a police officer
  • OC:  Organized Crime
  • Package or VIP:  Escorted prisoner as in "delivering a package" to a destination
  • Paying the rent:  Doing grunt work like issuing a traffic summons and speeding ticket
  • Perp:  Short for Perpetrator of a crime, (a.k.a. Mope or a Mutt)
  • Puzzle Palace:  Slang for main police headquarters
  • Rabbi:  A reliable, trustworthy person in the work environment
  • Rat Squad:  Slang for officers and detectives working for Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB).
  • Red Menace:  Slang for members of the New York City Fire Department, (a.k.a. Rubbermen)
  • Rip:  Pay reduction resulting from a disciplinary action
  • RMP:  Radio Mobile Patrol
  • Skel:  short for "skeleton" refers to drug-users, junkies or homeless vagrants (possibly derived from word "skellum" meaning thief or street beggar
  • SNAG:  Special Narcotics and Guns Unit
  • SNEU:  Special Narcotics Enforcement Unit
  • SOD:    Special Operations Division
  • TARU: Technical and Research Unit
  • Tunnel Rats:  NYPD Transit Bureau (subway cops)
  • White Shirts:  Supervisors (lieutenants, captains, etc) who wear white police uniform shirts.

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