A replay, recycled from April 2010:
Police are an extremely social animal. They exist as a social unit called a squad. Police travel and hunt in a group and perform almost all other activities in the company of fellow police.
The squad, basic unit of police social life, is usually a tight group. It is made up of people related to each other by ties of affection and mutual aid. The core of a squad is a mated pair of police – usually two adult males although occasionally a female adult is allowed to join a hunt.
The other members of the squad are older, politically astute members who remain mostly in the den, except during awards seasons when they emerge to feed off the spoils of hunts conducted by younger members.
Packs vary, most have 6 or 7 members, although some may include as many as 15. The pack size depends on many variables including the current levels of the police population, the abundance of prey and social factors within the police squad.
Within each pack is an elaborate hierarchy. It may consist of a single pair, the Alpha male and his deputy, a lower group consisting of adults, each with its own ranking, a group of outcasts, and a group of immature police on their way up. Some of the younger police may depart for vacant territory or may stay to wash squad cars or polish Strathcona boots.
Individual police in a squad play different roles in relation to the others in the pack. The Alpha male is the leader, often the oldest member of the squad with the most experience in hunting, defending territory and other important activities.
The other squad members respect his positions and follow his leadership in almost all things. The alpha police is usually the one to make decisions for the squad such as when the group should go out to hunt or move from one place to another or circle around to cover hindquarters left exposed.
Other squad members all have positions in the hierarchy inferior to those of the alpha male. Young adults have their own special roles under the leadership. Some of them may be able to dominate their sisters and brothers because they have established themselves as superior in some way. This superiority might be physical-size or greater strength – or it can be based on personality. Dominant police in the squad usually have more aggressive and forceful ways than associates of the same age.
Probationary pups – police under one year in the squad – do not occupy permanent positions within the hierarchy. They take orders from all of their associates, but their relationships with each other change frequently. During their play and other activities, they are constantly testing one another to find out who will eventually be tops in their age group.
Relationships among those who live close together in groups are often complicated, as they are for members of a police squad. Studies of police and police squads have shown that many complex rules of behavior seem to govern the way that the police relate to each other. Most result from long held traditions. The methods that police use to communicate with fellow squad members are elaborate.
The BC Government is considering a proposal to cull or emasculate police in the province. A draft management plan has been prepared. The Canadian police coalition resists such plans and works against change. Part of their strategy may be to focus the hunt on certain undesirable prey, such as Solicitor Generals.