There can’t be that much to being a cop can there? You wear a special hat, strap on a gun or truncheon and head out onto the streets to thwart wrongdoers, spread civic virtues and help old ladies across the road.
If only life, law and order were that simple. Criminals, sadly, don’t sit still (they’re nasty like that) and are as keen to find new methods and technologies to help them go about their business as anyone else. And the police have to be at least one step ahead of them.
When Robert Peel founded the first modern police force with the Metropolitan Police Force Act of 1829, his Bobbies went out on the streets with pretty simple instructions and an emphasis on muscle over mind. These days things are very different.
1 – GSG 9 of Germany
The 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, when 11 Israeli athletes were killed by terrorists, was an international tragedy, and the German police’s unpreparedness for such an attack led to the formation of GSG 9.
GSG 9 is only open to officers with two years’ service under their belt and applicants undergo rigorous medical and psychological training before taking a 16 week basic training and a further nine weeks of specialised lessons. They must also be top marksmen. Only one in five applicants make it through the tough training programme.
Since they first got started in 1973, GSG 9 have been involved in more than 1,500 operations and have only had to use their guns five times, a great testament to their discipline and training.