“Our service is dangerous and difficult” As the
known phrase suggests, it is more correct to say “service in the police”. The police are a set of multiple units whose main function is to protect and preserve law and order within the state. The governing body of the system is the Ministry of the Interior and all employees are civil servants. You can learn more about this from the Federal Law number 342-FZ “On service in the internal affairs bodies in the Russian Federation…”.
Some might think that police officers are not military, who are just “serving” and in any other way. It’s hard to say “work in the military” instead of the completely familiar “serve in the military”. In reality, the police are a special kind of public service, and it combines the characteristics of both military and civilian structures, including the possibility of a standard 8-hour working day, commonplace, not a “barracks” lifestyle. But at the same time police officers obey commands and orders of the management, undergo special “soldier” training.
It is worth adding that many police officers do not need to wear uniforms every day, and their work day is very similar to a typical office job. It is all this often causes even the police to say in the household: “I work in the police”, “tomorrow to go to work”, etc.
“Will we work?”
With the above in mind, it becomes pretty clear why police “service” is turning more into “work” every day. Police officers are ordinary people who visit banks, insurance companies and other organizations, meet friends and relatives. In a similar everyday setting, the phrase “I serve in the police” sounds rather pathosy, often puzzles uninitiated people and makes it long to explain why it is right to say that.
In addition, each employee has his own work day routine, and the amount of daily “office” routine makes almost every police officer feel like a real workaholic. However, there are many in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and those who are practically daily engaged in construction and sports training, improve skills of shooting and hand-to-hand combat, hunt down and detain dangerous criminals. It is they who proudly declare that they serve Russia and the law, and in no other way.
What about the end? The lexically correct phrase “police service” should be used in writing, as well as when communicating with real employees. In colloquial, if desired, you can use the verb “to work”, but remember that not every police officer or specialist in Russian vocabulary will treat it positively.