The Grossest Things Police Officers Have to Deal With

Sometimes Police Work Can Be a Really Dirty Job

While there are lots of things that new police officers are surprised to learn, perhaps the most alarming is how downright disgusting the job can be. There are plenty of situations that may arise in a day in the life of a police officer that can make policing a dirty job, but as the saying goes, somebody's gotta do it.

We've come up with a list of some of the grossest things about working in criminal justice. Warning: this list is not for the feint of heart or weak of stomach. When we say gross, believe it. We mean gross.

Pumping Gas

Gross Police Pictures
Pumping gas is one of the grossest things police officers do. Tom Merton/Getty Images

According to research by Kimberly-Clark, gas pumps are one of the filthiest objects you might ever touch. Police officers spend more time driving than most people, which means they spend more time refueling their cars than most people, too.

Hundreds if not thousands of hands touch a single gas pump on a given day. How many of those people do you think wash their hands before they grab the pump? Have you ever seen anyone wash a pump? You probably never considered how gross pumping gas could really be.

Other People's Sweat

Believe it or not, there are some people out there who have committed crimes but don't want to be arrested. As you can imagine, when folks struggle with police, they sweat. A lot. Unless they're in the South, in which case they sweat a whole lot. 

And when police have to use measures of control and go "hands on" to make an arrest, they have to touch that sweat. Gross.

Other People's Vomit

It's no secret that people tend to vomit when they've had too much to drink. For a myriad of reasons, police officers find themselves in the company of inebriated individuals frequently.

Almost just as frequently, those drunken individuals make decisions that cause them to need to go to jail, Those folks are known to throw up in patrol cars more often than anyone wants to remember or cares to admit. Has anyone ever thrown up in your office?

Other People's Urine

While few are surprised to learn that drunks throw up in patrol cars from time to time, they are understandably appalled to hear that criminals who are under arrest - drunk or otherwise - often think nothing of relieving themselves of their bladder discomfort, regardless of location.

Ask any cop, and they're sure to have more than one story about a person who wet their pants - or worse - once the handcuffs went on.

Other People's Excrement

There's no pretty way to say it: at some point in their careers, every cop and correctional officer has had to deal with someone else's poop. Sometimes the people in question were drunk or high, sometimes they were angry, and sometimes they were mentally ill.

Whatever the reason, it ​can't take away from the fact that it was a traumatic experience for the officer. There's only just so much disgusting you can take in one shift.

Worth the Dirt

As you can no doubt tell, working in law enforcement definitely has its less-than-glamorous moments. Officers can find themselves in all sorts of disgusting situations, but it's all part of the job. It's definitely not a career choice for people with weak constitutions, but it takes far more than just a strong stomach to be an effective public servant. If you have a desire to put others ahead of yourself, than disgusting or not, police work may be the perfect criminology career for you.