I'd like to know what the following sentence means. The context is: two cops have interrogated a witness and one of the cops ended up harassing the witness. The cop who didn't harass the witness says to her partner

"If she drops a dime on you, you're out walking the beat".

I understand that "drops a dime" means "if she tells on you", buy what does "walking the beat" mean?

Thanks for any help.
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I think these two policemen are doing office work, seen as more comfortable and less risky.
" ... you'll be sent out there to do patrol work"

I strongly suggest to do a search at Yahoo before posting , in this case with:
"walk the beat" dictionary
(quotation marks are important)
and you will find several dictionary pages
'Walking the beat' is the basic foot patrol police do, and it is the 'lowest' role in the service. all new police officers have to start off by walking the beat for a number of years before they can apply for a promotion or to enter into a specialism. These two are more advanced police, detectives perhaps, as they are involved in directly investigating crimes and interrogating suspects, not patrolling the streets. He is basically saying if you mess up you'll be demoted back down to where you started!
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Nona - is "specialism" a Britishism, or just a typo? I don't think I've ever heard it. (I would say "specialty"or perhaps "speciality".)
nona gave a great answer!
Hi Khoff, no it's a perfectly OK English word. I did also find it in a US dictionary, but perhaps it is more widely used in BritEnglish.

Speciality and specialty- we also use these (but specialty sounds very 'US' to me).
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Thanks, Nona - I learn a lot about English in this forum! I have definitely never heard it in the U.S.
Thanks for the answers, especially Nona Emotion: smile
Walking the beat means to go out on foot patrol.

Another term is "pounding the pavement!"
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