The ‘cops and donuts’ stereotype has to be one of the most well-established American stereotypes. You know what i mean, you’ve seen it on the movies – overweight cops eating glazed donuts and drinking a burnt coffee. But have you ever wondered how it all started? I mean, why police officers are so much associated with donuts?
Let’s find out.
To find the answer we had to look into one of the most credible history donut books out there – The Donut: History, Recipes, and Lore from Boston to Berlin. In it, author Michael Krondl explains that the donut-loving cop stereotype started because police officers have always been working odd, late-night hours. During late hours the options for food haven’t always been plentiful and donut shops have been a cheap and convenient solution for police officers working in the wee hours of the morning, especially in the years after World War II when donut shops started to grow in major cities. (the article continues after the ad)
In addition, because cops aren’t supposed to accept gifts while on duty, buying doughnuts made sense as it was one of the most affordable snacks out there – at the end of the day they were buying them with their own money.
But there was one more reason: in his autobiography, William Rosenberg, the founder of Dunkin’ Donuts, explains that donut shop owners were actively trying to entice cops to stop in for a donut. That’s why they were trying to make their franchises “hospitable places for the police” who “protected the stores.”
Of course, nowadays, police officers have expanded late-night food options but the joke stuck and this is why we even today, associate cops with donuts.