Why Do Cops Love Donuts?

Public servants and their stereotypical snack

Movies, television shows, books and magazines love to make “cops love donuts” jokes. While it is a stereotype, it is not entirely untrue either. But how did police officers become associated with the round, sugary goodness of donuts in the first place?

Even now, after midnight, food choices are scarce in more rural areas. In the 1950s the idea of all-night dining took flight in the form of donut shops and coffee shops. These were the ideal places for police officers working the graveyard shift to get a snack, a cup of coffee, and some friendly conversation to help them get through the slow nights.

Donut shops allowed officers to grab a quick bite that they didn’t have to wait to be prepared in the event they received a call and had to leave quickly. It offered heat and air conditioning, depending on the weather, to officers who may have been walking “the beat”. In addition, it provided officers a safe, well-lit place to do their paperwork, which is a large part of their job.

These establishments enjoyed having officers stop by and visit, as their frequent presence created a deterrent to those who might think to rob the business in the dead of night. 24-hour cafes, donut shops, and convenience stores are still popular among night shift workers today. In fact, after the Boston Marathon Bombings in 2013, there were several Dunkin Donuts that elected to stay open to serve the police officers during the lockdown.

While younger generations of law enforcement are known to be more health-conscious and tend to skip late-night, high sugar snacks, law enforcement’s love of donuts is a partnership that will more than likely continue.

Working mom who uses my curiosity to fuel the curiosities of others. I write mostly on history and true crime with some life advice thrown in for good measure.

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