Police Vocabulary Top 65 Law Enforcement Vocabulary With Sample Questions

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Police Vocabulary Top 65 Law Enforcement Vocabulary You Need To Know With Sample Questions

Becoming a Police Officer

Becoming a police officer is a rewarding job; it allows you to help your community and your land. The procedure for applying to law enforcement is a bit different than applying for any other job. It would be best if you were fully prepared to be able to sit in the exam with thousands of applicants. The police test conducted by the department will then decides if you are a qualified candidate or not. You are expected to know the police terminology used by the officers.

The biggest challenge applicants face when applying for police is the law enforcement terminology and vocabulary test. This is because there are no set terminologies given by the department to be memorized for the quiz. For the preparation, you have to find words that, in your opinion, are standard police terms. You have to do a lot of reading as it improves your reading skills and broadens your language. It would be great if your reading resources are related to law enforcement, such as newspapers, criminal system articles, or going through police department websites in general.

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What is the police written exam?

Suppose you have decided to pursue a career in law enforcement. First, you must know that you have to go through several tests to determine if you have the physical skills, critical thinking, psychological strength, and knowledge to become a police officer. The tests comprise written exams, interviews, physical strength tests, psychological check, and background check. The written exam is the first step of this ladder. If you prove yourself in this part, it will become easier for you to pass through the following steps.

The written exam for police is conducted to check the educational skills of the applicants.

The exam is based on four skills,

  • Math skills
  • Reading comprehension skills
  • Language skills
  • Writing skills

These skills are necessary for all police officers who are working in the field and offices. For a police officer, primary education is a must; without that, he won’t perform his duties such as writing a police report, filling out forms or logs. These exams aren’t like the general SATs or GRE. They are designed to evaluate if you are an eligible candidate for law enforcement who has knowledge about the police and criminal justice system.

You help you with common detective phrases. In addition, we have put together some vocabulary and study guidelines to use as references when preparing for the police written exam. Continue reading the article to find out more about law enforcement terms and definitions.                                            

What does the written exam include?

The exam pattern can vary from state to state. However, each test is conducted for the same purpose, to evaluate the basic educational knowledge of the candidates. The written exam, divided into four sections, is supposed to be completed within 15 to 25 minutes. Each section contains almost 25 questions, mainly in the form of MCQs. Therefore, you have to be quick and conscious when solving the paper. The vocabulary section of the exam is either going to be a separate section of the sub-section of writing or comprehension section. It is recommended to solve the sample papers before appearing in the final exam. You will not only get familiar with the pattern and type of question but also manage your time.

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Sample Test- Vocabulary

To familiarize you with the police written exam vocabulary, we have gathered some sample questions and a glossary of police terms.

Here are some of the sample questions of the written police exam.

Sample Questions

The decetive ordered the police officer to ________ his behavior.

  • altar
  • alter
  • retain
  • exchange

A grand jury has ________ not to _________ Police Officer Jake Summers in the death of Mike Chang.

  • decided, entice
  • ruled, endikt
  • jury, convict
  • decided, indict


The witness corroborated the suspect’s story.

  • verified
  • contradicted
  • added to
  • questioned


It was not a very pragmatic plan.

  • plausible
  • serious
  • practical
  • sensible

The police sequestered the suspect.

  • caught
  • isolated
  • arrested
  • released


In order to conceal her guilt, Linda told a blatant lie.

  • harmless
  • subtle
  • careless
  • obvious

He was ignorant of the proper procedures.

  • unaware
  • conscious
  • uncertain
  • cognizant

 Correct Answers:

1.B 2. D 3. A 4. C 5. B 6. D 7. A

Related: Top Ranked Police Academies In United States




Top 65 Police Vocabulary You Need to Know


arresttake into police control
AdjournTo postpone, often referring to court.
ArraignTo bring to court on a criminal charge.
ArsonDeliberately setting fire to property.
AbscondTo leave hurriedly to avoid arrest.
ApprehendTo arrest an individual for a crime.
Assailantperson who assaults or attacks
Autopsyan examination and dissection of a dead body
baillarge amount of money that someone pays as a promise to appear in court
BarricadeImprovised barrier erected to defend against opposing forces.
CorroborateTo give support to a theory or finding.
CollusionIllegal cooperation between two entities.
ContusionA bruise.
convicta person who is doing (or supposed to be doing) jailtime
coroneran official who investigates death not due to natural causes
DelinquentA young offender.
DUI, DWIDriving Under the Influence, Driving While Intoxicated
ExpropriationState taking property from an owner for public use / benefit.
ExtortionObtaining something, such as money, through force or by threats.
ExonerateTo find innocent or free from wrongdoing.
EmbezzleTo misappropriate, often someone’s money.
Felonya major crime
ForgeryA fake document, bill or work intended for a criminal purpose.
ImpeachTo charge the holder of public office with misconduct.
IncarcerationThe state of being imprisoned.
InquestAn inquiry that takes place to establish the facts.
IndictmentA charge or accusation of a crime.
Intrudera person who enters a home or business illegally
LibelTo publish a false statement that damages an individual’s reputation.
LynchTo kill someone for an offence without trial
LienThe right to keep possession of a property until a debt has been paid.
LitigationThe act of taking legal action; to be litigious.
LacerationA deep cut to the skin / flesh.
LarcenyTheft of personal property.
ManslaughterThe non-intentional killing of a human being.
MoratoriumA temporary ban.
Misdemeanora minor crime (punishment is usually a fine or less than one year in jail)
Malicioushaving the nature of threatening evil
Obsceneoffensive to the mind
Prosecuteconduct legal proceedings against a defendant
Protrudingextending out above or beyond a surface or boundary
PerjuryTelling a lie whilst under oath.
ReprobateAn unprincipled person.
ReprimandTo warn sternly against.
Radarradio wave transmission that helps police track cars and map crime scenes
Reconciliationthe reestablishment of cordial relations
Rendezvousa meeting planned at a certain time and place
SeditionConduct that incites rebellion against the authority of the state.
SurveillanceClose observation, as in spying.
SabotageTo deliberately destroy or obstruct an event.
SiegeA military operation in which a town or city is surrounded, and essential supplies are cut off, with the intention that the town / city will surrender.
SlanderTo make a false spoken statement about an individual’s reputation.
SubpoenaA writ ordering an individual to appear in court.
SummonsAn order to appear in court in front of a judge.
SubdueTo overcome or to bring under control.
SequesterTo isolate.
SubornTo bribe someone to commit an unlawful act.
Subsidiaryfunctioning in a supporting capacity
Seconalbarbiturate that is a white odorless slightly bitter powder (trade name Seconal) used as a sodium salt for sedation and to treat convulsions
Tetanusan acute and serious infection of the central nervous system
VagrancyThe state of being homeless.
Vandalizeintentionally destroy or deface someone else’s property
vicinitya surrounding or nearby region
WarrantAn authorization for the police to arrest someone or to act, such as search premises.
Wantedbeing searched for by police

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