Paris Cops

Did you know there are two kinds of cops in Paris? The gendarmes, who are part of the army, and the Paris police, who are unionized. The police are national, not local, and most of the cops you see in Paris are not from Paris. If you ask them for directions, they’ll puzzle over the map along with you.

In the U.S., the cops are often overweight but tough-looking. They ride around in cars all day, they face criminals with guns, and they’ve seen a lot. In Paris, they somehow look younger and more naïve. They’re usually skinnier too.

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