Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Why do policemen like doughnuts?

A very much lighter note from the New York Daily News of September 4. In a special kids section, the question is asked, "Why do policemen like doughnuts?" The answer given by John F. Timoney, chief of the Miami Police Department:

It's because doughnut stores, especially in New York City, are everywhere. The ethnic foods can change from neighborhood to neighborhood, but the one staple is coffee and donuts. It's quick and easy; if while you are eating in the car you happen to get an emergency call, you can discard them easily . . . you throw them out of the window and you are gone.

Call to my readers. Does this ring true? And, how would a NYC cop answer the question? And is the answer different for Boston, home to Dunkin' Donuts? How about other cities?

Come on folks. Take a break from health care and give us your answer, but don't spill the coffee on your keyboard.

18 comments:

Patrick Thrasher said...

Don't know about Boston, but Timoney started in NYC, rose through the ranks over 28 years, and was Police Chief in Philadelphia before going to Miami (you may remember his rough treatment of protesters at the 2000 Republican Convention). So without quizzing him myself, I'd guess that his answer reflects experience cruising the streets in at least these three cities.

Nancy T. said...

I bet police officers in Springfield, USA would quote Homer Simpson on this topic: "Donuts, is there anything they can't do?"

Anonymous said...

They're one of the few food stores open 24 hours. Or at least fast food places you can get takeaway.

The only other one I can think of is Akbar's falafel hut in the Longwood medical area.

Patient Dave said...

Erm, my first question would be whether cops DO like doughnuts more than any other population does. Except for TV shows, I've never noticed cops eating doughnuts. Never.

Michael said...

An anonymous quote:

As you wonder on through life
Whatever be your goal
keep your eye upon the doughnut
And not upon the hole

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure a I buy the ubiquity and convenience hypothesis. McDonald's is equally accessible to police officers, but they seem to eschew the egg mcmuffin for the donuts.

Perhaps the donut shop represents bygone days of security and reward, when Mom or Dad would take us there as kids. Maybe the stressful work of law enforcement requires these little psychological sugar breaks.

Any takers for my dime store psychology?

Ben

Anonymous said...

Throw themout the window? Then arrest themselves for littering?

Tracy said...

Do their policement get ticketed for littering when they throw the donuts out the window?

Rob said...

1) Donuts have a built in handle
2) Donuts of the non-jelly sort do not leak onto uniforms, unlike eggs, burgers, dogs, or sushi.
3) They are pure calories
4) They go IN coffee
5) They are pure calories that go IN coffee, thereby being the perfect energy food.

The Imp ;-) said...

If a police officer is responding to something where he has to throw away the coffee and the doughnut, then littering is probably not a huge concern to the general populace at that point.

There are probably Bad Things Happening™.

Besides, those seagulls need to eat, too.

JD said...

I thought the same thing as Tracy when I read the response. I also thought of something my father used to say to me as a kid when a police car would go sirening by, "There must be a new donut store opening!"

Donuts and police are cliche.

Dayna said...

Actually, having studied the history of police work and community oriented policing, for my senior thesis, I belive the correct answer is that before the day of many places being open 24 hours, doughnut shops were one of the few places that were open all night, or very very early thus, one of the few places where a cop could get a quick meal (as opposed to a 24 hour diner).

Jay said...

Ben, you sound like Snopes... :)

Anonymous said...

Not just a cliche, an ugly stereotype.

Seriously, the answer is, policemen like donuts because they are yummy. I mean, really now.

YogiBear_ said...

Donuts...
Innocent,Inexpensive,Legal,Yummy,easy-to-handle-outdoors,and fun to chew on with hot coffee. Just the right mild snack which reduces boredom & does not make one sleepy. 91% of policework is plain boring time-kill while the remaning 8% justifies all the pain and horror in the News. Donuts fit in the remaning 1%.

Jim MacLeod said...

At the Red Sox victory parade in 2004 I snapped this photo. A cop that was actually giving out free donuts.

http://www.boomerfest.org/Images/Champs/Parade/P276.jpg

mkeamy said...

man, you guys are all intellectualizers (not me!) cops like donuts because they are sweet and they are cake; "sometimes", said Freud, a "cigar is just a cigar." Hey! Did I just intellectualize there?

Paul Levy said...

Yup. Better be careful!