The Gotham City Police Department (GCPD) is a fictional police department appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The GCPD services Gotham City and is typically depicted in stories featuring the superhero Batman.
|Gotham City Police Department|
Gotham City Police Department Headquarters in Detective Comics #990 (December 2018). Art by Stephen Segovia.
|Created by||Bob Kane|
|Type of organization||Law enforcement agency|
|Leader(s)||James Gordon (Police Commissioner)|
Major Crimes Unit
Acting as both ally and opponent of Batman, the superhero long-established in Gotham, the GCPD has long been steeped in corruption, with numerous officers both high-and-low ranking involved in bribery and even more serious offenses such as drug-smuggling and murder.
The strongest blow against police corruption came when an increasing amount of conspiracy charges against Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb forced him to resign his position, replaced by Peter Grogan. The Falcone crime family, which has had a stranglehold on Gotham's underground for generations, finally crumbled when a series of killings shook the structure of the mafia organization. After the death of Carmine Falcone, the mob lashed out in sloppy, retaliatory crimes which, in combination with rising gang violence, severely crippled organized crime in Gotham City. Simultaneously, the ebbing presence of corrupt police officers allowed James Gordon to become the new commissioner, a man determined to eradicate crime wherever it existed.
The GCPD has had a long love-hate relationship with the city's vigilante known as Batman. Commissioner Gordon went along with him because Batman got the job done. His successor, Commissioner Michael Akins ordered the arrest of Batman and had the Bat-signal removed from the roof of Gotham Central. Corruption and rot within the police department also rose during Akins' tenure as Commissioner.
As of DC's One Year Later, James Gordon has been reinstated as Commissioner, along with Harvey Bullock. Harvey came back on disciplinary probation after helping expose a criminal drug ring. Relations with Batman, including the Bat-Signal, have been established once more. Other characters from Gotham Central have appeared in the recent Tales of the Unexpected miniseries, featuring Crispus Allen as the Spectre. Thus far, Detective Driver has appeared in a speaking role. It is unknown what has happened to Commissioner Akins, but it is implied that, following revelations of massive corruption within the department, there has been a drastic cleaning-of-house within the department.
Kate Kane referred to Akins as police commissioner in the weekly 52 series, which reveals the events of the missing year. A later issue, however, showed a brief snapshot of Commissioner Gordon's welcome back party. The circumstances of Akins's departure and Gordon's reinstatement have yet to be explained. Maggie Sawyer is still the commander of the MCU department, and has ended her relationship with former lover Toby Raines.
Homicide Division: The division that handles murders and some of the more serious non-metahuman crimes in Gotham. This is the division Gordon was a part of before becoming commissioner. Former private investigator Jason Bard is now working on homicide cases for this division.
|James Gordon||Police commissioner||Highest-ranking official in the G.C.P.D.||Detective Comics||Formerly a police detective,|
lieutenant then captain.
|Mackenzie "Hardback" Bock||Chief of police||Former head of O.C.C.B.
(Organized Crime Control Bureau)
|Carlos Alvarez||Police detective
|Lieutenant Bilbao||Police lieutenant||Batman and Robin comics|
|Gerard "Jerry" Hennelly||Police lieutenant||Head of the Quick Response Team
(G.C.P.D.'s renamed S.W.A.T. team)
|Took over the role from|
|Donald Peak||Police officer||Gotham Central comics||Former partner of Andy Kelly.|
|Rebecca Mulcahey||Police officer (corrupt)||Gotham Central comics||Lover of Jim Corrigan.|
|Officer Xue||Police officer||Red Robin comics|
|Nora Fields||Supervisor of Gotham City's coroner's Office||Gotham Central comics||Widow of Charlie Fields.|
|Stacy||Secretary||Administrative secretary to commissioner
|Gotham Central comics||Civilian employee.|
Major Crimes Unit: Led by Capt. Maggie Sawyer, who previously served in Metropolis in a similar position with that city's police, the MCU deals with the most serious crimes, often involving supervillains or politically sensitive cases. This division is the focus of the comic book series Gotham Central.
|David Cornwell||Police lieutenant, Major Crimes Unit||Second in
command of the
Major Crimes Unit
|Gotham Central comics||Commander of the second (night) shift, successor of deceased Lt. Probson.|
|Josh Azeveda||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Gotham Central comics||Partnered with Trey Hartley.|
|Joely "Joe" Bartlett||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Gotham Central comics||Partnered with Vincent Del Arrazzio.|
|Harvey Bullock||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Detective Comics||Restored to duty under severe scrutiny.|
|Thomas "Tommy" Burke||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Gotham Central comics||Partnered with Dagmar Procjnow.|
|Romy Chandler||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Gotham Central comics||Partnered with Takahata.|
|Eric Cohen||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Gotham Central comics||Partnered with Andi Kasinsky.|
|Nelson Crowe||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Gotham Central comics||Partnered with Jackson Davies.|
|Jackson "Sarge" Davies||Detective sergeant, Major Crimes Unit||Gotham Central comics||Partnered with Nelson Crowe.|
|Vincent Del Arrazzio||Detective sergeant, Major Crimes Unit||Gotham Central comics||Partnered with Joely Bartlett.|
Associate of the Huntress.
|Marcus Driver||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Gotham Central comics||Partnered with Josephine MacDonald.|
|Nicholas "St. Nick" Gage||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Gotham PD's newest recruit who has just transferred from Coast City Police Department. He is a supporting character of Batgirl VI.|
|Trey Hartley||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Gotham Central comics||Partnered with Josh Azeveda.|
|Andi Kasinsky||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Gotham Central comics||Partnered with Eric Cohen.|
|Josephine "Josie Mac" MacDonald||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Gotham Central comics||Partnered with Marcus Driver.|
Possesses the psychic ability
to find lost people and objects.
|Renee Montoya||Detective, Major Crimes Unit.||Detective Comics||Pre-Flashpoint, partnered with Crispus Allen and resigned after his death and became the Question. Retconned and re-introduced as Harvey Bullock's new partner in the New 52.|
|Dagmar "Dag" Procjnow||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Gotham Central comics||Partnered with Thomas Burke.|
|Detective Takahata||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Gotham Central comics||Partnered with Romy Chandler.|
|Roman Cavallo||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Red Robin comics||Partnered with Marcus Wise. Is corrupt.|
|Marcus Wise||Detective, Major Crimes Unit||Red Robin comics||Partnered with Roman Cavallo.|
Quick Response Team: Led by Lt. Gerard "Jerry" Hennelly, the QRT is the GCPD's SWAT unit.
Note: The following are either deceased or have been dismissed from the Gotham City Police Department.
(In tenure list)
The Gotham City Federal Bureau of Investigation field office is also featured in the fictitious Gotham City. The Gotham City FBI personnel are shown using black vehicles with red emergency lights.
The 1940s Batman and Robin serial has actor Lyle Talbot in the role of Commissioner Gordon. No other members of the force are shown. However, his appearance of Gordon having a feather-duster mustache was later adapted to the comics.
All the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher series seemed to give little depiction on the GCPD at all. In Batman, Gordon is portrayed by Pat Hingle, while the usually corrupt Harvey Bullock is replaced with William Hootkins' Lt. Max Eckhart (who is killed by Jack Napier prior to his accidental transformation). Hingle also appeared in Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.
In the Nolan films, the City of Gotham Police Department (abbreviated only as GPD) acts as both an ally and an opponent to Batman. However, they play a much greater pivotal role than other depictions of the force.
In Batman Begins, the GPD plays a pivotal role throughout the course of the film, as one of the forces against Batman under the direction of the staunchly vigilante-opposed Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb (played by Colin McFarlane). While other members of the GPD are also present, two well-known detectives among them are featured; James Gordon (played by Gary Oldman) and his partner Arnold Flass (played by Mark Boone, Jr.). While Gordon is portrayed as one of the few honest police officers in the department, Flass is portrayed as being corrupt and dealing extensively with the local mafia and Loeb, though clearly displeased with the arrival of Batman, does not seem to possess any corrupt tendencies evident in the source material.
Considering that the film captures the early appearances of the Batman, there is much fear and skepticism among the rank and file about whether the Batman exists and if he is even human. Gordon, who had met Batman before he had adopted the Batman motif, not only realizes he is human, but recognizes the necessity of his actions. Gordon continues to work with him through his early weeks in operation. Batman, who trusts Gordon, a good cop he met during his childhood after his parents murder, includes him in his plan to save Gotham from the League of Shadows' fear toxin attack on the Narrows. At the end of the film, Batman's actions have sparked a change in the city and the cops' morality, leading to Gordon being promoted to Lieutenant.
In The Dark Knight, Gordon is reassigned as commanding officer of the Major Crimes Unit (MCU), a newly formed division of the GPD created to combat the Gotham crime syndicates and thwart terrorist attacks. Three detectives of this unit are featured; Gerard Stephens (played by Keith Szarabajka), Michael Wuertz (played by Ron Dean) and Anna Ramirez (played by Monique Curnen), among others.
Relations between the DA's office and the police, especially between Gordon and Harvey Dent, remains tense throughout most of the film, with corruption in the rank and file; and even within Gordon's unit, being a key source of this conflict in The Dark Knight, with Dent suspecting that Ramirez and Wuertz are corrupt (based on his investigations while working in Internal Affairs, immediately before his election to District Attorney). In response to Dent's "attacks" on the police department and the actions of the League of Shadows from the first film, Loeb set up the Major Crimes Unit within the GPD to counter possible terrorist attacks as well as rid the city of its organized crime. In the Major Crimes Unit, acceptance of the Batman, though reluctant, is growing. By the end of the film, Batman is framed for the violent actions of Harvey Dent and the police force turns against him.
In The Dark Knight Rises, the GPD has successfully eradicated the city's organized crime under "The Dent Act", as most remain oblivious to Harvey Dent's crimes. Gordon remains in guilt over letting Batman taking the fall for Dent, and waiting for a chance to admit the truth to the city. Rookie MCU detective John Blake (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) becomes aware of the truth, and also has deduced Batman's identity beforehand. He eventually becomes a friend and ally of Gordon and Batman, as well as serving as their liaison. Blake is also later promoted from patrol cop to detective after Gordon sees his intelligence and dedication, thus allowing him to report directly to the commissioner. Gordon's deputy commissioner Peter Foley (played by Matthew Modine), though not corrupt, is determined to capture Batman, to the point that when Batman crashes the police chase of Bane and some of his henchmen following Bane's robbery of the stock exchange, Foley issues orders for the police participating in the chase to pursue Batman instead. As a result, Bane ends up escaping while his henchmen are captured.
Bane and the League of Shadows later use explosive-laced concrete to trap most of the force underground for months until they are freed by Batman and his allies. Bane also discovers the truth of the circumstances behind Harvey Dent's death and reveals it to the GPD and the rest of the city, thus ending the manhunt against Batman. However, this also is used by Bane to break the criminals imprisoned under the Dent Act out of prison and wreak havoc around Gotham, much to both the police and the citizens' misfortune. Eventually, the police department are instrumental of the League of Shadows' defeat, though Foley and many officers are killed in action. The GPD, with the aid from Batman and his allies, has successfully captured the surviving League of Shadows members and Gotham's criminals, restoring order back to the city.
Blake resigns himself from the police department following Batman's apparent death and after receiving a set of coordinates left by the Dark Knight, the young detective discovers the Batcave beneath Wayne Manor.
The GPD in the Nolan films is heavily modeled on the New York City Police Department. Patrol cars are painted in a modified version of a paint job used by the NYPD in the 1980s and 1990s. In a flashback scene shortly after the deaths of Bruce's parents in Batman Begins, Gordon and other officers are shown wearing sky blue uniforms, similar to those worn by the NYPD from the 1970s through the mid-1990s. In all present-day scenes, patrol officers wear black uniforms. The text on patrol officers' shoulder patches, as well as various modified versions of the logo such as the seal used on SWAT trucks, establish the force as being first established in 1820.
The GCPD appears briefly in the extended cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and reappears once again for Justice League. For the new standalone Batman movie, it is possible that the GCPD will make another appearance.
The GCPD appear as an opponent to Batman. During the events of Year One, Batman wasn't trusted, he doesn't have a relationship with GCPD and Gotham City doesn't consider him a hero. Although many of the GCPD officers are revealed to be corrupt, Lt. James Gordon builds a partnership with Batman.
The GCPD appear in Son of Batman.
The GCPD make a brief appearance in Batman: Bad Blood.
The 1960s campy Batman featured Neil Hamilton as Commissioner Gordon and Stafford Repp as Chief O'Hara. Both are depicted as being dependent on Batman and Robin to help solve cases. Gordon even keeps a link to the Batcave called "the Batphone" on his desk. In the early episodes it's implied that they only call them in for the so-called "arch-criminals" as the police can handle the more mundane (murder, burglary, arson, etc.). But as the show progressed, they became even more dependent on them to solve problems. This is most greatly shown in one episode, when Batman appears to be missing, Gordon laments that the police will have to solve a case "ourselves". Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara would always be seen with a bunch of police officers when it comes to arresting the arch-criminals upon their defeat.
Detective Jesse Reese - played by Shemar Moore. Jesse is an honest cop in New Gotham who learns of the Birds of Prey and begins to help them. He later enters into a relationship with Huntress. It is later revealed that Reese's birthname was Jesse Hawke, son of crime boss Al Hawke, who became a police officer to atone for his family's sins. This version of the GCPD does have a corruption problem (though it is unclear how bad since a few other honest officers have cameos) and appears to no longer have Jim Gordon at its head.
In the series, most of the department is corrupt, with very few honest GCPD officers, including James Gordon, Sarah Essen, Renee Montoya, Crispus Allen, and Nathaniel Barnes. A detective referred to as “Alvarez” appears in 30 episodes portrayed by J. W. Cortez; this is most likely Carlos Alvarez from the comics.
James Gordon, one of the few honest police officers of the GCPD, is the central character of the series and one of his intentions is to wipe out the corruption of every single police officer working there, including his partner, Harvey Bullock. Overtime, many police officers grow distant from Gordon as he attempts to uphold the law rather than break it, much to the frustration of Bullock. After capturing Jack Buchinsky following his attack on the GCPD, Gordon investigated a conspiracy involving Commissioner Loeb and Arnold Flass, leading to the former assigning him to the case of the Ogre, who targets the loved ones of police officers, leading to Gordon killing the serial killer and then enlisting the help of Oswald Cobblepot to force Loeb to resign. After the Maniax's attack on the GCPD left Sarah Essen dead , Nathaniel Barnes was assigned to the position of Captain and he and Gordon worked together to rid the department of corruption whilst assembling a Strike Force too . After a chain of events lead to Gordon being targeted by a resurrected and delusional Theo Galavan, who became the ancient warrior called Azrael , the GCPD was once again attacked by the latter and Barnes was seriously wounded, leading to Bullock becoming acting-Captain. Barnes briefly returned but was infected with the Alice Tetch Virus, which was then released all over the city by the Court of Owls , forcing the GCPD to contain the situation whilst a cure was procured and Bullock became the new Captain. However, Cobblepot collaborated with the reluctant GCPD under "Pax Penguina" as criminals were issued licenses to enable them to commit crimes, much to Gordon's chagrin . Bullock, who had the department's best interests at heart, began to take money from Cobblepot and issued releases for detained criminals with licenses. Soon after, Professor Pyg began to terrorize Gotham and abducted numerous police officers who were Cobblepot's bagmen and murdered them. The GCPD teamed up with Cobblepot to capture the Pyg, who took advantage of Bullock's reckless actions to ambush them and slaughter dozens of police officers whilst the former accidentally shot a police officer disguised as Pyg himself. Gordon rescued them and his bravery earned him praise from the department, who rejected the licenses and Gordon was promoted to Captain, causing Bullock to resign from the GCPD in disgrace. However, Sofia Falcone had intended for Gordon to become the Captain to actually control him otherwise there will be chaos instead, forcing Gordon to reluctantly take the blame and become a hero for the city. After Sofia is placed into a coma, Gordon is forced to live with his debt by Bullock, who believed that the department needed someone to look up to. When Gotham City is declared a no man's land due to the plot of Jeremiah Valeska and Ra's al Ghul, Gordon and the remaining police officers work with Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth and Lucius Fox to maintain the peace.
The Gotham City Police Department appears in the Arrowverse crossover "Elseworlds". It is seen in Part 2 where it's police officers arrest Oliver Queen, Barry Allen, and Kara Danvers when they get into a scuffle with some thugs that were also arrested. The three of them are bailed out by a man working for Kate Kane.
In the acclaimed animated television series, Batman: The Animated Series, the GCPD characters are given more attention such as in "P.O.V", where the major characters of the force in the series participate in a detailed debriefing of an incident. One of the most important contributions from the animated series to the Batman universe is the introduction of Renee Montoya (first as a uniformed officer, then a detective), which would later become a first-grade character in the GCPD comic books. In the printed DC Universe, her presence was so solidly incorporated that she later retired from the Department to assume the identity of the Question.
In this animated series Batman Beyond, James Gordon's daughter Barbara Gordon (former Batgirl in Batman: The Animated Series) serves as the new commissioner.
Gordon, Ramirez, and Crispus Allen all appear in three of the shorts in Batman: Gotham Knight (which bridges the gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) consisting of Crossfire, In Darkness Dwells, and Deadshot.
On the animated series The Batman, the focus of the GCPD in the first two seasons is on Detectives Ellen Yin (voiced by Ming-Na Wen) and Ethan Bennett (voiced by Steve Harris) prior to his Clayface transformation. The corruption on the force is attributed to Chief Angel Rojas (voiced by Edward James Olmos in the first appearance, Jesse Corti in later appearances), who appeared often in those seasons. They served as recurrent antagonists in the first two seasons under Chief Rojas' leadership. However, in the Season 2 finale, Jim Gordon (voiced by Mitch Pileggi), recently appointed Commissioner, calls off the manhunt and forms an alliance with Batman to help keep Gotham safe for his daughter, Barbara. Two episodes of the cartoon series featured another detective of the Gotham City Police Department named Cash Tankinson (voiced by Patrick Warburton). Neither Rojas nor Yin has been seen since then, though one episode that take places in the future implies that sometime between now and then, Yin will replace Gordon as Commissioner and Bennet becomes Chief of Police.
The GCPD appears in Beware the Batman. James Gordon worked as a police lieutenant and was distrustful towards Batman until he helped save his daughter from Tobias Whale and Phosphorus Rex. During the part where the League of Assassins had control over the Ion Cortex and shut down Gotham City's power, James Gordon became the police commissioner when Commissioner Correa was killed by the League of Assassins.
Each of the different media appearances introduce a member of the Gotham City Police Department that is exclusive to the project:
|← The character Hop Harrigan was debuted by John Blummer. See Hop Harrigan for more info and the previous timeline.|| Timeline of DC Comics (1930s)
May 1939 (See also: Batman, James Gordon (comics), Batsuit and Batmobile)
|The character Ma Hunkel (Who later becomes Red Tornado) was debuted by Sheldon Mayer. See Red Tornado (Ma Hunkel) for more info and next timeline. →|
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|Batman in other media|