work the beat

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Sexy Muffin

Senior Member
Hi everyone!

'work the beat' is used in the sixth episode of the seventh season of South Park ("Lil' Crime Stoppers").
Cartman is now a policeman and he comes home late at night after work. His mom Liane asks where he has been.
(taken from'_Crime_Stoppers/Script)

Cartman:We had to take down a meth lab on Mala Vista.
Liane:Well you should've called Mommy.
Cartman:[turns and snaps at her] Will you get off my back?! It's hard enough I gotta work the beat, and now I gotta come home to your nagging?!

Is 'work the beat' some kind of an idiom or is 'beat' used here
in the following meaning found at the WR dictionary:

3 an area allocated to a police officer and patrolled on foot.■ a spell of duty allocated to a police officer.

Please help me out with this.

Thank you.
Last edited:
  • Crockett

    Senior Member
    US English
    Hi Sexy Muffin. Your last suggestion of work the beat as explained in the WR dictionary is correct. I'm not terribly familiar on how to use this phrase, but I know that it's very common phraseology in police shows and movies.
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