blue, alarms, emergency

brutality, enforcement, investigate

cops, uniform, sirens

crime, bribery, order

crimes, donuts, murders.

dangerous, angry, agents of the government

enforcement, blue, laws

enforcers, authority, inefficient

Force, power, weapons

Jail, Police car, Gun

Law, Order, Criminals

law, peace, helpful

necessary, corrupt, power-hungry

necessary, under paid, under staffed

night stick; riot gear; oppression

officers, handcuffs, jail

order, discipline, necessary

peace, security, underpaid

protect, help, control

protecting, safety, gratitude

protective, terse, absent

protectors, order

reassuring, lawful, protection

rules, justice, adjudication

safety, brutality, guns

sirens, cop cars, uniforms

sneaky, sirens, speeding, donuts

Tickets, siren, car-chases


bavures, cow-boys, "respect de l'ordre"

bleu, prison, administratif, contravention


commissariat, amende, sécurité

Commissariat; gendarme; flic

Defense, Securité, Voyous, Prison, Enquêtes

essentielle, mal-aimée,

faire régner la paix, faire appliquer la loi, corriger.

justice, criminalité, fraude, délits



pouvoir, agent, contravention

protection des personnes

répression, amende, prison


sécurité, administration, crime

sécurité, parfois irrespectueuse

sécurité, sévérité

sécurité. autorité. justice.

Sécurité. Pouvoir.

surveillance, commissariat

trop présente et trop autoritaire

uniforme, commissariat

Uniforme, sifflet, armes

uniformes, armes, prison

utile, 17, uniforme


Both the responses share a lot of similarities, such as security and protection, law and order, and uniforms. However, there are clear differences in the American perception of their police and the French. Although both sides have their fair share of negative words, the French seem to have an overall greater sense of respect for their law enforcement. The American responses include several very critical and some hostile words, which reflects what may be a general negative societal attitude towards the police, formed by the history and popular culture portrayal of the police.

I wonder why one French response was 17 and what that means.

I agee with Kathy's sentiments, but I am also curious about this.  The American students were very, very blunt in their statements regarding the police and many of the responses included weapons or objects associated with the police.  The French students didn't seem to be quite as blunt or as negative about the police; there were a couple of responses that didn't reflect well on the police, but overall the list was pretty neutral.  I would be curious to find out if that is a result of better relations between citizens and the police, or if it is just not something that is talked about negatively in other cultures.

Je pense aussi qu'il y a une différence ded point de vue sur la ploice entre nos deux pays mais pas forcement pour les mêmes raisons que vous. Pour les étudients américains, la ploice est synonyme de sécurité dans la plupart des cas. Malgré cela, je ne comprend pas pourquoi le port d'armes est toujours autorisé aux Etats-Unis.Que pensez-vous du port d'armes?

Juste pour répondre à Kathy, le 17 est le numéro de téléphone de la police en France.

En France les jeunes ont une assez mauvaise image de la police. Pour eux, la Police est synonyme d'ennemie, alors qu'elle devrait au contraire leur semblé être un moyen utile de sécurité. Beaucoup pensent que la police est trop dur dans ses interventions, car par exemple lors d'une manifestation, ils trouvent anormales que les SRS puissent charger, alors que ces derniers recoivent des projectiles, et se font insulter tout le long de la manifestation. Par contre , auprès des personnes plus agées, la police à déja une meilleur image.

Quel image ont les jeunes en ce qui concerne la police aux Etats Unis ? Trouvent ils qu'elle est trop violente ?

I think young Americains have a similar negative image of the police, which has to do a lot with how historical events between civilians and the police have shaped modern culture. Also, I think young people in general have a tendency to be a bit more antiauthoritarian and the type of symbol the police represent may conflict with their basic attitudes.

It's true that police have a notorious for violence, but I wouldn't say the general opinion people have is entirely negative. Most people don't think of brutality and violence when they think about police, but again, from history and from the portrayals of the police in pop culture, that violence is an important factor that shapes how Americans see the police. Take a look at Hollywood cop films; they sell the violence and action to thrill audiences, but then those images contribute to how the public perceives law enforcement.

Also I think it's very interesting that the telephone number of the police is 17 in France, because it's 911 here. I think the number is a very prevalent symbol for the police and emergencies, but none of the American students thought to write it. 

Another image many of my friends and I have of the police is that of their inneficiency.  Oftentimes, the police department will send their men to carry out annoying, menial regulatory tasks, while there are more pressing issues that we feel they should be focusing on. 


Also, Julien, we do not necesarilly consider them to be too violent, simply too inconveniently intrusive. 

Merci pour vos réponses,

Donc je pense que les relations jeunes/police aux Etats Unis et en France doivent être à peu près semblables.

La police est elle très présente dans les rues des villes Américaines ?