Along with the development the world is making one day after another, there appears many negative human tendencies that shape the other side of the coin. One of these tendencies or attitudes comes in the form of corruption. Corruption is abuse of wealth or status to reach a certain end. This corruption comes in many forms and can be detected at all levels, even at the level of policemen themselves. The media is known to play quite a significant role in raising people’s awareness of such issues, and thus in uprooting them for the welfare of the society. One very smart media product that tackles serious situations in an ironical way is cartoons. The cartoon under analysis shows a car parked next to a police station and a stout policeman standing in front of a shop window. The shop is called "Cop Shop" and displays a number of commodities with daring signs that can be read by all passer-bys. Through the usage of irony, labeling and exaggeration, this cartoon insinuates that corruption is what police work is all about!
The cartoonist uses irony to draw the readers’ attention to shamelessness of policemen. Irony by definition is the difference between the way things are and the way things should be. The fact that the shop is opposite a police station suggests that whereas police officers should be in charge of stopping illegal activities, and thus protecting their own country, they are not exerting the least effort to hide their own underhand activities. The 50% discount is another example of irony. It gives an impression of the sad reality that corruption has become so common that it goes on sale like any other everyday commodity.
In addition to irony, the cartoonist uses another effective technique which is exaggeration. Exaggeration is defined as overdoing physical characteristics of people or objects in order to make a point. The officer’s head is too small in comparison to his body. This could be interpreted to mean that Cops do not only lack a conscience but also brains. The extremely fat body stands for both greed, laziness and a lax attitude. His slouchy posture adds to the sloppy impression he gives. The fact that the policeman stands casually window shopping in front of the store, unmoved by the nature of its products, further suggests a lax attitude and an indifference to the law.
Moreover, the cartoonist has intentionally labeled the items on sale in the cop shop. One sign reads "Witness for Hire", a second one reads "Finger Print Transfers", while the third offers “50% off for Fake Evidence"! "Plant Now for Spring" suggests that one can plant evidence well in advance of committing a crime so that it blooms in season. The cartoonist also wrote the labels in capital letters to grab attention and to show how serious the problem is. Without such smart usage of labels, an extremely important side of the message would have been missed.
In this cartoon the clever application of the three persuasive techniques sends an alarming message that discredits the police, revealing the fact that police corruption is a widespread phenomenon. This requires implementation of tough laws before people completely lose trust in one of the institutions most responsible for justice, safety and security.