The Gotham City Police Department is the local city law enforcement agency for Gotham City and as such is a constituted body empowered by the state to enforce the governmental laws of the United States of America in order to protect the city's citizens, property, and limit civil disorder.
The Gotham City Police Department has long been steeped in political corruption, with numerous officers involved in bribery and even more serious offenses such as drug-trafficking and murder, due to the strength of the Gotham City Organized Crime Family's grip on the city until the arrival of James Gordon and the Batman saw justice return to power.
The GCPD has had a long love-hate relationship with the city's vigilante and members of his extended "family". While they recognize the heroes' abilities to solve crimes quicker and more effectively than they can due to political pressures and other such issues besieging their own efforts, they also resent them for it due to their presence largely calling into question the necessity and competency of the city's police force and their members. Due to this and the two group's natures (one being an officially elected police force and the other being an unsanctioned vigilante force), the GCPD and the Bat Family rarely co-operate together publicly unless a massive threat has besieged the city and forces the two groups to co-operate for the good of the city's citizens.
The Gotham City's police department had a reputation for corruption dating through the majority of the twentieth century. The corruption stemmed from the mayor's office and continued throughout the law enforcement and judicial branches of the city government.
When Carmine "the Roman" Falcone ran Gotham's underworld, the commissioner of police was Gillian B. Loeb, who steered his officers away from interfering with the Roman's operations. Things began to change for the better when an honest cop, James Gordon, transferred from Chicago and a costumed vigilante, Batman, both began to patrol the city's streets.
As Loeb was targeted by Batman as part of the vigilante's war against all of the city's underworld figures the commissioner ordered a massive police task force to capture the Batman at all costs. However, an increasing amount of conspiracy charges, brought forward by District Attorney Harvey Dent, against Loeb forced him to resign his position and he was replaced by equally corrupt Commissioner Peter Grogan.
After the death of Carmine Falcone, the city's crime families lashed out in retaliatory crimes which severely crippled organized crime in Gotham City. As a result the waning presence of corrupt police officers on the force allowed James Gordon to become the new police commissioner.
James Gordon succeeded Grogan and served for a lengthy period until politics interfered. In short order Peter Pauling, Andrew Howe, and Sarah Essen Gordon briefly took on the commissionership before Gordon was restored to his office.
As Gotham's crime families fought for turf with a rising tide of costume criminals operating within the city, the police department had to respond to deal with the ever increasing amount of extreme crimes being perpetrated. A Major Crimes Unit was founded to specialize in such cases, first headed by Sarah Essen Gordon and MacKenzie Bock. The department also created a Quick Response Team headed by Lieutenant Gerard "Jerry" Hennelly; this team was specifically trained and outfitted to combat scenarios involving a costumed criminal.
During Gotham's time as a No Man's Land following a catastrophic earthquake that leveled the city, many Officers of the GCPD remained in the city to help maintain order. When the city, abandoned by the United States government, began separating into factions, the GCPD became known as the "Blue Boys", led by ex-commissioner James Gordon. When the city was rebuilt and governmental rule returned, Gordon continued to serve as commissioner, assisted by the Batman in bringing justice to Gotham until a near fatal gunshot from a corrupt cop forced his retirement.
His successor, Commissioner Michael Akins, took a less lenient approach with Gotham's vigilante heroes and ordered the shoot-to-kill order of Batman and the estrangement of the police force from the hero's activities after the vigilante attempted to co-opt full control of the GCPD's police forces to quell a city-wide gang war before it tore apart the city.
Corruption within the police department return during Akins' tenure as Commissioner and following the Infinite Crisis he was replaced by Gordon, who returned from retirement to fill the post. Following this, positive relations with the Batman were re-established the police force continued to shine as a steadily glowing light in amidst a city known for its dark ambiance.
- GCPD forces can be found at various hot spots within Gotham City either engaging hostile forces or assisting other emergency response units in combating specific hazards or threats.
- GCPD Officers can be found combating Hippolyta's loyalist forces in Gotham Under Siege.
- The Police department precincts in Gotham City are Safe Houses for Hero players in DC Universe Online. The Gotham City Police precincts are where players can exchange information and buy and sell items, as well as review the latest news and database intelligence including; reading email, obtaining missions and teleporting to the JLA Watchtower.
- Tech heroes assist the GCPD in combating Scarecrow's attack in the East End district.
- Tech villains confront the GCPD while working with Falcone crime family to cause chaos in Gotham and further the Joker's schemes.
- The GCPD first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (May, 1939)
- Renee Montoya used to be a Detective in the GCPD before she quit.
- Former Gotham Detective Pat Trayce quit the GCPD out of frustration with the justice system and became the third "Vigilante" in an effort to punish the man who killed her partner.
- While the GCPD has access to both Federal and Domestic databases, sometimes Oracle will subtly allow them to access her own database as a way to hasten a case along.
- In designing the GCPD's look for the game, Chuck Dee reasoned that, due to the rampant corruption, the police didn't have much money to spend on updating their equipment and so instead turned to fixing and modifying equipment already possessed. A majority of designs, from vehicles to uniforms, were influenced from versions in the 1970's, updated to appear tough enough to stand modern usage in the field.
- Unfortunately there is a large desperately between the Major Crime Unit and the general police force. The general police consider the MCU to be a group of "Holier-Than-Thou" elitists. They believe that the MCU wouldn't last a minute doing their job. Of course, the fact that the majority of the force's corruption stems from the general force perhaps puts some doubt in the general force's objectivity.
- The GCPD Major Crime Unit once had "The Bat" listed on the case board like he was part of the investigation squad. Whenever the Joker or any of the Arkham Inmates killed somebody and the GCPD couldn't close the case they would put the victim's name under The Bat's list of cases as a critical reminder that if they didn't do their job, someone else would. This practice was soon seen as demoralizing and removed from the board by Commissioner Akins, though the knowledge that a "costumed freak" was out there doing their job better then they could still remained.
- Police corruption is a form of police misconduct in which officers seek personal gain, such as money or career advancement, through abuses of power such as accepting bribes in exchange for not pursuing, or selectively pursuing, an investigation or arrest. Other abuses may include soliciting or accepting bribes in exchange for not reporting illegal activities or securing "convictions" through the use of falsified evidence. Officers may also deliberately participate in organized crime themselves. In most major cities there are Internal Affairs sections to investigate suspected police corruption or misconduct.
- On occasion, the GCPD receives "thank you" mail from Gotham's citizens directed to Batman. Usually these letters are sent by citizens or families that the vigilante has saved, or ex-cons that have turned over a new leaf due to the vigilante "stepping-in". Having accumulated the letters over time, James Gordon once gave the hero three bags of these letters during a time when the vigilante was concerned over what effect he was having, if any, on Gotham's crime rate.
- The Finnigan's bar is a well known after-shift watering hole for Gotham's general police force. Unfortunately it is also filled with amoral members of the force who dabble in corruption as a way to "Survive in Gotham".