By Mike Simmons
Okay, I know – cops and donuts go together. I mean, everyone likes donuts, but cops REALLY love them, right? Well, sort of… The joke is that cops take to donuts like a fish takes to a worm. While there is some truth to that – it’s not the whole story.
The truth is, in the old days, cops liked the convenience of them…and the taste. Old cops remember the days when there were no 24-hour convenience stores, and not many all-night diners. In 1940s and 1950s, a cop assigned to the midnight shift was a lonely person. The good people were mostly at home, leaving only the cops and the bad guys out on the streets. In such cases, donuts were the key. When working a long, slow shift, most people, including cops, get sleepy. So, if there were only a couple of diners open in town, coffee was usually available. Further, if almost nothing else was open, that was the only place to go to take a break.
By the way, the coffee was black – plain, black coffee. No sweetened, iced, double lattee, whatever. It was just plain, hot, black coffee.
Today, if a bad guy is looking for a place to get some quick cash, he has a plethora of places to choose from to rob. But in the 40s and 50s, the one or two open diners made for slim pickins for a bad guy to rob. In order to keep them away, a police car parked in front is a good deterrent.
So, how do you get a police car in front without the expense of having to hire someone to provide security? Donuts. They are tasty, easy to make, and delicious. So, the diner owners surmised, why not offer free donuts and coffee to keep the cops coming around, and the police cars in front? It was a win-win! That is how it happened.
Here is the problem… young officers are stuck with battling the stigma created by old guys like me, even though they don’t eat the little fat pills like we used to. But you better be quick about asking an old cop if he remembers the old days of eating donuts. Most have either died of heart disease or old age.
Well, there you have it. You now have the truth of the matter – maybe.
I think I’ll go have a donut and a cup of black coffee.