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Paul Clinton

Paul Clinton

As the POLICE Web editor, Paul Clinton contributes posts about patrol cars, motorcycles, and other police vehicles. He previously wrote about automotive electronics as managing editor of Mobile Electronics. Prior to that, he was an award-winning newspaper reporter.



William Harvey

William Harvey

William "Bill" Harvey is currently serving as chief of police in south central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Savannah (Ga.) Police Department where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.
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The Dangers of Badge Bunnies and Holster Sniffers

These creatures are cunning, and can end your law enforcement career if you're not careful.

August 08, 2011  |  by William Harvey - Also by this author

<p><em><strong>Midland County Sheriff deputies were fired, after they  photographed a waitress holding their AR-15 patrol rifle. Photo via  Midland County Sheriff

When I was assigned to the training unit, I had a talk I gave every recruit class. I'll make it a tad more presentable for polite company. I don't want to offend, but this reality ends careers if not handled correctly.

For the guys, sooner or later a badge bunny will approach you. Have you never heard of these creatures? Well, there are some females who are attracted to cops. Face it, you may not have movie star looks, but it's the uniform and your authoritative position in life that attracts them. It doesn't matter whether you're married, engaged or committed, you can still be in their sights.

If you think this will never happen to you, think again. These groupies, badge bunnies, or holster sniffers seem innocent enough. They claim they're looking for a friend — a strong, handsome young man in uniform. Add to that description a good steady job, good pay, and benefits. Wait, I thought they were only looking for friendship. They want to hang around, show up in your life and sooner or later potentially ruin your career and life.

This doesn't occur innocently. They're usually known to others. So, if you think you're going to keep this a secret because you're such a stud muffin, think again. Most of the older cops know them and their warning signs. If you have a senior officer telling you to disengage, this isn't because he wants to chat her up. He knows the warning signs. Funny enough, some are known within police circles, and the cops have to protect their young recruits. Some have been through more precincts than the cleaning crews.

Female officers should know there are men out there attracted to self-confident women in uniform as well. Add to that the excitement factor of police work and that you have money. These men don't have the fable-like quality as their female counterparts, but they exist. One can counter that women are still gaining in law enforcement ranks so it's a lesser problem. As the more women enter the ranks, the more lurking males will appear. If the other officers tell you to stay away from this guy, listen to your colleague's advice.

You're a young officer, perhaps single and working the night shift. You work at night, go to court during the day, sleep when you can and have not had a night off since you can't recall. A friendly person finds you interesting. Pretty soon, it's not a citizen contact but an exchange of names and numbers. A call on your cell later for coffee and you're in their sights. What could be a mere passing encounter could be a career ender. OK, maybe there are some readers who think this may sound innocent enough for them, but you're not observing the clouds in the horizon. Consult an old crusty FTO for additional training in career choices.

After my many years, ask me how many marital disagreements these encounters have caused. Trust me, you've worked far too hard to get the job. You've endured the academy, FTO program and are set on a career. You may already have a great significant other, spouse or steady. Do you want to risk personal and professional Armageddon on a midnight fling? Take a look at your life and see what you have and what you can lose.

Related:

Sexy Car Wash Photos Cost S.C. Officer His Job

Texas Deputy Dismissed After Photographing Waitress With Patrol Rifle

Tags: Badge Bunnies, Professional Image


Comments (15)

Displaying 1 - 15 of 15

Scott wagner @ 8/9/2011 6:26 PM

Excellent job getting this info out to the youngsters. Stuff like this is probably the number one way officers can get themselves in trouble. Especially in this post sunshine law Facebook/you tube/24 hour news era.

Mike Serrano @ 8/9/2011 7:11 PM

I would also caution against the same behavior with your department's dispatchers. I am married to one of our radio dispatchers (long before either one of us was hired by the department) and you would not believe the drama in that place. The Comm Center is like a soap opera & many an officer here has had issues because of it. I'm not sure if other LE agencies have similar issues but I would surmise they do. What better way for a Badge Bunny to gain access to their preferred meal!

Joe James @ 8/10/2011 3:04 AM

Very informative article, but when you are on the wrong side of 40, have a muffin popping over your gunbelt and all of sudden a buscuit like in the photo attached to this article wants to shine your Glock...a few days of unpaid beach time may be worth it. Just saying.

Jack @ 8/10/2011 5:56 AM

I was once told by a FTO "Two things will get you fired faster than anything else - your driving and your d!#k."

Chuck Haggard @ 8/10/2011 6:22 AM

Seriously Joe? You think it might be worth it to flush a career down the crapper over a bit of friction and a mid-life crisis?

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I know guys who have done so, most definitely not worth the drama.

I'd also suggest coppers have no business having a roll over the top of their gun belt, wrong side of 40 or not.

My perspective, from a 47 year old guy with 25 years on the job.

Just sayin.

John Russell @ 8/10/2011 12:58 PM

These hoes are going to cost you more than handcuffiing yourself & locking yourself up...very few are worth the trouble...trust me.

That simple...unless and I say unless; SHE is HOT looking, RICH, and Sweet as an Angel you find that?>>> CALL ME ahhhhh please!

Ron Kiker @ 8/11/2011 4:17 AM

The retired Chief who was the Director of our Regional Police Academy, and who I had the privilage to work under for 11 years, taught an ethics class to all of the new recruits. When he started the class he would write "YBWGYP, PWGYB" on the board. He'd then proceed to teach the ethics class covering all of the standard ethical topics, including dealing with "badge bunnies." At the end of the class he'd ask the students if any of them had figured out the acronym. Then he tell them what ot stood for..."Your Badge Will Get You P___y, but P___y Will Get Your Badge!"

Irish Lou @ 8/15/2011 8:54 AM

Remember, no matter how good she looks, or how sweet she seems, someone, somewhere is sorry they ever met.

Brent Ingram @ 12/13/2011 8:23 PM

I had a LEO friend once, who found the hot looking woman who was rich. He put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Same guy who gave the last few dollars in his wallet to a homeless man.

Ananda Ferrari @ 7/22/2013 8:12 AM

Hello! This may seem a little random, but I work for a television casting and development company in NYC called Crybaby Media. Right now we are searching for badge bunnies for a TV show. If you know any, and would like to talk and share your experience, please email me at casting1@crybaby-media.com. Thanks!

Pocahontas @ 3/13/2014 6:34 PM

Seriously?! Are you saying any chick that likes a man in uniform is a deceptive, manipulative and dumb nymph? Not so! The uniform represents bravery, chivalry and integrity that the average man kind of lacks. Certainly not seen as sexual and a big pension payout for a neurotic goldigging home or career wrecker. There are definitely two types of uniform loving women... Don't generalise them all! And while we are on this subject, would you same over criticising cops describe your own wives or partners as badge bunnies for being with you? One thing I don't like about police is how paranoid and distrustful they become of the average woman out there, which in turn can leave a man lonely and ageing

Ronin @ 3/19/2014 6:48 PM

And you know...it goes both ways. I had an unfortunate situation where I had to deal with the police. While alone, the Sergeant gave me his PERSONAL CELL because he "didn't have any cards on him" and asked that I call if I needed to talk about anything. At the time I didn't really think anything of it, but when I mentioned it to my husband, major red flags went up (he's a fireman). The Sergeant could have easily given me his work number instead of his personal cell. Oh, he was married too.

Marie @ 4/21/2014 8:43 AM

Reading this makes me feel kinda bad... I am a badge bunny but that doesn't mean to make things difficult for anyone. Sure there are bunnies out there who are rude and manipulative like you've described but there are also kind and caring bunnies too. Same for LEO's. There are rude and disrespectful ones but there are also caring and sincere ones.

I agree with most of what Pocahontas said but maybe they are being a bit harsh... LEO's have every right to be paranoid since their jobs and reputation are at stake. The writer seems to be going after badge bunnies, not the average woman. A badge bunny will fall for you first because your badge then your personality. Someone who is not a bunny will fall for your personality and then your badge. Get what I mean? That's how you can tell the two apart.

So if you are looking for a partner or serious relationship, LEO's, search for them while out of uniform rather than in uniform. Badge bunnies aren't worth losing your job.

Enej @ 6/15/2014 11:52 AM

This guy who wrote this sounds like an idiot

darin vitale @ 8/8/2014 12:38 AM

The funny thing is that the officers looks and "charm" has nothing to do with the attraction from the the girl. If you pay attention to the girls you turn down, watch who they latch on to after you. If you are a single guy and you want to date a girl one step above a hooker, go for it. However, unlike the hooker everyone will know about your interlude, because she will tell everyone with pride. "Hey guys, do you all know ------? He is a friend of mine". Flattery from citizens will get you fired.

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