Dirt bag, scum bag, asshole, three time loser, piece of crap, mutt.
Reflect for a moment on these terms. Do any of them bring to mind an image of a person who trains hard for the fight? Do any of the bring to mind the image of a person who trains multiple times a week at the range so they can win a gunfight? Do any of these images bring to mind the image of a person who is committed to developing a high level of functional strength and fitness? Do any of these images bring to mind the image of a worthy opponent in a life and death fight? (I do not mean worthy in relation to honor and integrity, I mean worthy in relation to fighting skills.) Do any of these terms bring to mind the image of a 13 year old? Do any of these terms bring to mind the image of a 70 year old man or woman? Do any of these terms bring to mind the image of a female? How about a pregnant female?
I would suggest the answer to all of the above questions is no. These are just a few of the names however, I have heard used in training classes to refer to the subjects law enforcement professionals find themselves in violent confrontations with.
I believe these labels are getting cops hurt and killed. These derogatory terms lend themselves to officers underestimating their opponent. After all, why would you have to train hard to fight some low life piece of crap? The answer is because that individual may be training hard every day or every week to beat you. How often have you seen the consequences of an athlete or a sports team underestimating their opponent. Usually that mentality results in a severe butt kicking. For an athlete or a sports team it is an embarrassing loss. For a law enforcement professional the consequences may be more severe.
Watch the documentaries that go inside the most violent prisons in North America and pay attention to how many of the inmates are working out every day. Some all day every day. If they cannot get to the weight room they work out in their cells doing push ups, burpees and body weight squats. Most are not worried about adult onset diabetes, or heart disease. They are training for the fight.
Read the 1997 FBI report In The Line of Fire: Violence Against Law Enforcement and the 2006 Violent Encounters report and pay attention to how often these violent criminals are training. Attend an FBI LEOKA training seminar and listen to the interviews with violent criminals who have murdered and have attempted to murder law enforcement officers. These people are contiually training for the fight.
These terms also tend to bring to mind the image of a typical gang member who is male and between the ages of 18 and 24. While these demographics are some of the people who attack officers the reality is there is no stereotypical image of someone who is going to kill, or attempt to kill a cop. Officers have been attacked by males and females, young and old.
Are you setting your officers up to hurt or killed by using these terms? Are you setting them up to underestimate their opponents? are you potentially setting them up to be embarrassed on the stand when they use of of these terms under stress during their testimony.
If you think it is just semantics, you are wrong? If you agree it is a potential trap for your officers what are you going to do to change your language?