Take the Quiz

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Here’s a little visual quiz I put together to illustrate the way cops and soldiers are increasingly difficult to tell apart. There are 21 images. All police photos are from domestic U.S. police agencies. A couple of the “soldier” photos are from foreign military.  I blurred or blacked out insignias that would give away the answer.

 

Cop or Soldier? » Make A Quiz

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127 Responses to “Take the Quiz”

  1. #1 |  Jack Jeckyl | 

    90% bitches! :)

  2. #2 |  Trunk Monkey | 

    As I got 21 out of 21, I feel qualified to make this statement. A few of these questions were actually trick questions. For while your answer option was Soldier, the true answer was MARINES. Or to be precise, U.S.M.C.. Semper Fi!

  3. #3 |  Longbow | 

    18/21 for me. There were a couple I didn’t pay close enough attention to. Good game though. It is much easier to see the difference live in action.

  4. #4 |  Pammy | 

    17 out of 21. Like previous posts stated, more trim, more likely a soldier. Oh, and how many Aggies does it take to break down a door?

  5. #5 |  What's the frequency, Kenneth? | 

    Why are cops wearing camou?

  6. #6 |  What's the frequency, Kenneth? | 

    Ironic ad at the top: “Be a part of the solution” and “Get a Criminal Justice Degree” shows a cop, provides phone number for cop school.

  7. #7 |  JSL | 

    18/21, I missed 7,8, and 11. Lucky guess on 12 thanks to cynicism.

  8. #8 |  pvtpyle | 

    18/21 Helicopter and M60 tricked me. Nam Vet Marines 0311.

  9. #9 |  Bridget Magnus Shows the World as Seen from 4'11" | 

    […] or Soldier? Take the quiz. I didn’t do very […]

  10. #10 |  Vince | 

    17/21 – I had similar criteria to Chris Rhodes (reply #28). The soldiers looked like soldiers. The cops looked like they were trying to look like soldiers.

  11. #11 |  Sean L. | 

    Out of the first 111 comments (including this one), 70 people (including me, at 14/21) offered their score voluntarily. The average is about 16.3, or about 74%.

    Not sure what that says, but I found it interesting.

  12. #12 |  Jay | 

    20/21. It was mostly lucky guesses. I couldn’t tell them apart.

  13. #13 |  Stick | 

    5 years in the Australian Army and only 13 out of 21 correct? Crikey!

  14. #14 |  Over the River | 

    I too got 17 out of 21 correct. First I want to say excellent job with the quiz, thought provoking, scary, frustrating, and a whole lot of other thoughts. As with others I looked at BMI, hair, and other external features to make my choice. Also I looked to make an assessment as to the professionalism displayed; when high, I picked soldier, when it looked like some “punk” with power I chose cop. Oh, and the other thing; if I noticed an erection, I picked cop.

  15. #15 |  Fred | 

    Sorry I didn’t get back to this Mister B, I’ve been busy with work, in response to your question..

    >>Was that covered in the news anywhere? And would the woman be willing to talk about what happened?<<

    No, it didn't even make the most local papers, it's too common here given that I live directly across the street from a bad neighborhood known as West Willow.
    And I seriously doubt the lady would talk, it would be very bad for her health you might say.
    Our local Law Enforcers are not quite as bad as how far Wayne County MI has fallen since losing Chief Evans due to office politics, but they are certainly bad enough.

    It may however interest you to know there are two conflicting opinions even within the local police and sheriffs dept on how to handle the problem of West Willow – the upper management wants cameras, crackdowns, force and more force, the military siege mindset I am sure you are terribly familiar with.
    However two officers, whom you may wish to speak to, had a different concept, one remarkably similar to the one that I employ just across the street in the podunk apartment complex I work as contract security, pound the pavement and TALK to people, be human, be humane – and their approach has borne much fruit even so far, let me see if I can link the story…
    http://www.annarbor.com/news/sheriffs-department-ypsilanti-township-see-early-signs-of-success-in-summer-crime-plan/
    Officers Roy and Krings are worth talking to about this, but I would not trust the dept as a whole.

    Also, one of the few ways to hold a police force accountable out in the townships here is by control of the budget, initially there were budget cuts in part due to misbehavior, and when the department itself started making vague threats and acting over the top, culminating in a nasty set-to over a charity poker game, the township doubled down on the budget cut and behavior improved quite a bit.
    There's also the issue of every problem looking like a nail when you have a big hammer – well if they do not have all those shiny war toys, if they cannot afford them, there's no inclination to use them and they must fall back on traditional policing in order to get the job done.

    As for me, I am just a contract security grunt exploiting a loophole in MI Public Law 330/1968 which allows me to work directly for the owner of this property without selling my soul to a corporation, and as such I have a vested interest in protecting the property above and beyond the fact that I live here, which also makes it a "turf" issue with the local criminal element, who leave us alone because it's flat not worth it for the pathetic amount of loot.
    There's also that my presence discourages the local law enforcement from coming here and picking over the parking lot for out of date tags and similar petty harrassment, although there is some degree of mutual cooperation resulting from a tag-team incident where we mutually bagged and tagged a trio of would-be burglars red-handed and returned the stolen goods to the renter just as he came home from work.
    Ideally a cooperation between police and contract security is most cost effective, but because of the differences in priority and attitudes this cooperation is often tenous at best.

    -Fred

  16. #16 |  Alex | 

    I marked cop (correctly, though it’s looking now like #12 is actually a soldier) for anyone with a skinny little mike in front of their faces. Any military guys want to tell me whether I just got lucky?

    I also marked cop for anyone applying face paint with a maximally douchey expression.

  17. #17 |  Cop or Soldier? « Escapee's Blog | 

    […] http://www.theagitator.com/2012/01/16/take-the-quiz/ Cop or […]

  18. #18 |  Alex | 

    #12 is a public release photo from the 19th or 20th Special Forces Group (US Army), I know that for a fact. Police do not have AT-4’s. With that being said, I got 20-21

  19. #19 |  CD | 

    17/21

    Like others have said, shiny/new equipment, general attitude and bearing, facial hair, etc were main indicators.

    I missed #7, 11, 12, & 13 (w #12 being the biggest WTF?). In retrospect, the black helmets and balaclava should have been dead giveaways.

  20. #20 |  You’re Eight Times More Likely to be Killed by a Police Officer than a Terrorist | Cato @ Liberty | 

    […] The militarization of law enforcement probably contributes to the danger. Cato’s Botched Paramilitary Police Raids map illustrates the problem of over-aggressive policing. Cato alum Radley Balko now documents these issues at the Huffington Post. Try out his “Cop or Soldier?” quiz. […]

  21. #21 |  ChrisLS | 

    19/21, though one was #12, which has now been revealed to have been a soldier, so really 20/21. #15 must have been a shot of SF guys or foreign military – the non-uniform uniforms and civilian cars really threw me off. It does make me feel better to know that cops aren’t toting AT4s…

  22. #22 |  pdxr13 | 

    chubby, zombie-stare, excess weapon systems/gear, clean, under-camo’d, shiny uniforms and vehicles = cop.

  23. #23 |  Militant Libertarian » You’re Eight Times More Likely to be Killed by a Police Officer than a Terrorist | 

    […] The militarization of law enforcement probably contributes to the danger. Cato’s Botched Paramilitary Police Raids map illustrates the problem of over-aggressive policing. Cato alum Radley Balko now documents these issues at the Huffington Post. Try out his “Cop or Soldier?” quiz. […]

  24. #24 |  You’re Eight Times More Likely to be Killed by a Police Officer than a Terrorist | _ | 

    […] The militarization of law enforcement probably contributes to the danger. Cato’s Botched Paramilitary Police Raids map illustrates the problem of over-aggressive policing. Cato alumRadley Balko now documents these issues at the Huffington Post. Try out his “Cop or Soldier?” quiz. […]

  25. #25 |  REAL NEWS Nov.01 2012 « DaniMartExtras, Too | 

    […] Try out his “Cop or Soldier?” quiz. […]

  26. #26 |  You’re Eight Times More Likely to be Killed by a Police Officer than a Terrorist | FreeWestRadio.com | 

    […] The militarization of law enforcement probably contributes to the danger. Cato’s Botched Paramilitary Police Raids map illustrates the problem of over-aggressive policing. Cato alum Radley Balko now documents these issues at the Huffington Post. Try out his “Cop or Soldier?” quiz. […]

  27. #27 |  Calion | 

    Radley! Please fix #12!