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->''"Bad cops, bad cops\\
Bad cops, bad cops\\
Springfield cops are on the take\\
But what do you expect for the money we make?\\
Whether in a car or on a horse\\
We don't mind using excessive force."''
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''

Some cops are [[PoliceAreUseless useless]]. Some cops are {{dirty|Cop}}. And some cops are an amazing combination of the two, with a healthy dose of LawfulStupid to go with it. Police suffering from Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop are corrupt, useless, [[PoliceBrutality unnecessarily]] [[RabidCop violent]], or just [[{{Jerkass}} complete douchebags]] on a power trip. In this town, TheBadGuysAreCops.

Unlike just one DirtyCop, or a small group of them, Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop describes an entire precinct (or [[CrapsackWorld world!)]] where police are monolithically terrible. Maybe they're all corrupt. Maybe just a few are corrupt, but the rest are so incompetent that they completely ignore the swath of abuse, violence, and destruction the corrupt cops leave. Maybe they're all just completely insane.

When this is more of an ImpliedTrope due to the fact that nobody bothers to involve the police in anything, you have PoliceAreUseless.

Perhaps understandably, their jurisdiction usually ends up being a ViceCity or WretchedHive. Depending on where you live, this may even be TruthInTelevision ... although many will tell you that the opposite is also TruthInTelevision -- that most police officers are good, honorable law enforcement officers and citizens and will not hesitate to out those who discredit the badge they wear.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/DominionTankPolice'' has an entire police force filled with lunatic CowboyCop types who see nothing wrong with destroying private property in pursuit of evildoers. And they're the GOOD guys! [[spoiler:In the manga? They're so bad, that the bad guy gets away scot-free... turns out he was the REAL protagonist.]]
* The police in ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' is ineffectual, utterly corrupt and unwilling to take even the slightest step towards keeping order in [[WretchedHive Roanapur]]... and [[VillainProtagonist most of the cast like it that way]]. At one point the police join in on a manhunt against someone who's got a bounty on their heads by one of the city's mafia leaders, much to her disgust. And that's not even taking into account the backstory of the main female character, Revy, as a ''child'' in New York, at the "tender mercies" of the NYPD.
* The duo of John "Sleepy" Estes and Daizaburo "Eddie" Ban in ''Manga/MadBull34''. Sleepy is an unscrupulous CowboyCop who seems to have "kill all suspects" hard-coded into his brain, while Eddie is a meek, cowardly milquetoast.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/BatmanYearOne'': Gotham PD is almost entirely corrupt, with SWAT teams having no problem in leveling city blocks if they can get away with it. There is also Harvey Bullock, who manages to unite both evil AND incompetent (for a corrupt cop whose task is to hinder detective work, this can be an effective combination indeed). That is before he eventually turns over a new leaf, upgrading into a good and on/off incompetent copper.
* ''ComicBook/GothamCentral'' takes the already-established corruption of the Gotham City Police Department (see above) and places an entire series within its ranks. It deals with the Major Crimes Unit, the portion of the department that is tasked with dealing with "freaks" (supervillains) and other major crimes, and is the only consistently honest branch in the entire department. Each member of the MCU is handpicked by the commissioner of police (originally Commissioner Gordon, and then Commissioner Akins once Gordon retires) to insure a modicum of integrity, and throughout the series they are forced to butt heads (often violently) with other departments who disagree on what constitutes "proper" policework. Even when they themselves are honest they cannot get much accomplished since everybody else is working against them, and they are often forced to accept when police corruption lets a guilty man go free since "it's Gotham."
%%* Commissaris Bullebas in ''ComicBook/TomPoes''.
* ''ComicBook/{{Nightwing}}'''s city Bludhaven is even worse than Gotham -- its police force is on the mob's payroll.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The cops in ''WesternAnimation/FritzTheCat'' are violent and stupid... and portrayed as pigs, naturally.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Creator/LucBesson is pretty fond of this trope:
** In ''Leon [=/=] Film/TheProfessional'', cops seen are violent, corrupt psychos, or jackbooted thugs. Mostly Stansfield and his gang (Malky shows some conscience but is still crooked cop) and they are pretty competent if completely [[DirtyCop crooked]]. Other cops are simply following their orders (i.e. they do what you would expect from a cop told to chase dangerous murderer).
** In ''Film/TheFifthElement'', all cops seen are idiots or corrupt, and so disorganized that they get in the way of pretty much everyone. They also wear bulky armor that is completely [[ArmorIsUseless useless]].
** All cops seen in ''Film/TheTransporter'' just... don't give a crap. Except Frank's French friend, who may well be too busy cooking to fight any crime. Worst example: the BigBad's [[TheDragon Dragon]] stands in the middle of a street in broad daylight, shooting off twin uzis at Frank's car. A single cop car shows up to an event you would believe would receive several cops and at least one SWAT team. [[RedShirtArmy They get out of their car and tell the Dragon to drop her guns. She slowly turns, casually replaces the empty magazines with fresh ones, and proceeds to mow both cops down. They don't even fire a single shot off.]]
** In ''Film/{{Taken}}'', all cops in the movie are either terrible at preventing anything bad from happening, or are [[spoiler:actively supporting the human trafficking ring the protagonist is fighting]].
** For the matter, ''Film/{{Taxi}}'' isn't much better on that respect.
* ''Film/{{Fallen Angel|1945}}'': Mark Judd is a former NYC cop [[spoiler: who murders Stella, Eric Stanton's girlfriend]].
* It seems that Det. Jim Lipton's main task in ''Film/DeadSilence'' is to harass the main character Jamie in every possible way he can come up with. He claims the protagonist's main clue as evidence, almost stalks Jamie when trying to prove that he killed his wife, tries to arrest him with no reason and, when Jamies refuses the arrest, Lipton ends up chasing him -- an unarmed man -- with a shotgun and probably wouldn't have hesitated to shoot him either. He is also LawfulStupid to the core, refusing to accept the facts around him.
* ''Film/LakeviewTerrace'': The racist cop harasses his neighbors, an inter-racial couple. The rest of the police force ignores it. The police force itself (and even the racist officer in question) aren't entirely corrupt, though. They're presumably just turning a blind eye on this particular case of abuse.
* ''Film/TheDarkKnightTrilogy'':
** There are elements of this in ''Film/BatmanBegins'', as well, as Gordon is apparently the only police officer who isn't corrupt or complicit. (Gotham PD is getting better by the start of ''Film/TheDarkKnight''.)
--->'''Flass:''' ''[after accepting a bribe]'' Don't suppose you want a taste? I just keep offering, thinking maybe someday you'll get wise.\\
'''Jim Gordon:''' There's nothing wise in what you do, Flass.\\
'''Flass:''' Well, Jimbo, you don't take the taste... makes us guys nervous.\\
'''Jim Gordon:''' I'm no rat! In a town this bent, who's there to rat to anyway?
** However, at the rate in which he does or does not do anything about it, he could be considered by some to be a bad cop for his abiding of corruption. In ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', Harvey calls him out on his continued staffing (in order to actually ''have'' a staff) of people shown to be dirty by Internal Affairs, [[spoiler: which gets Rachel Dawes killed, among other things]]. In ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'', [[spoiler: the true events of ''The Dark Knight'' come to light, causing Gordon to be a BrokenPedestal, especially to Det. Blake, who is disgusted with him]]. Both times he responds with "IDidWhatIHadToDo", which sounds like it's more meant to convince himself.
* While a sizeable portion of the police force in ''Film/SinCity'' are either {{dirty|Cop}} or {{corrupt|Cop}}, it also subverts this as the rest are honest, decent, or just "a working stiff with a mortgage and a wife and a pile of kids", who are either powerless to do anything about the corruption alone, or not willing to risk their careers, lives and reputation. Cops like Hartigan, Mort (until he met [[TheVamp Ava Lord]]), and "Jackie Boy" Rafferty, who was a straight up hero cop before he became burnt out and worn down from years on the force, reaching rock bottom and the level we see in "The Big, Fat Kill".
* The London precinct in ''Film/HotFuzz'' actually transfers their one good cop so he doesn't make them look bad. [[spoiler:They try to get him back in the end because without him the numbers are terrible (talking about a '''400%''' increase in crime rate "terrible").]] It wasn't so much a matter of them being incompetent, as him being super-competent. The cops in Sandford village however definitely qualify for this trope. [[spoiler:At least until they TookALevelInBadass]]
* ''Film/LastActionHero'' has this appear near the end, in the real world. The BigBad realizes he can literally get away with murder because the cops don't immediately arrive on the crime scene like they do in his native movie world.
* In the French film ''Film/LaHaine'', the police are both racist and more interested in harassing people from the banlieues than cleaning the banlieues up.
* Sheriff Winston Hoyt from ''Film/TheTexasChainsawMassacre2003'' remake, who's eventually revealed [[spoiler:to be Charlie Hewitt Jr., a member of Leatherface's depraved cannibal family]]. Most other cops who have appeared throughout the series are usually depicted as dumb and incompetent, or are just faceless victims.
* Titular AxCrazy aside, pretty much every prominently appearing officer in the ''Film/ManiacCop'' series seem to be corrupt, dishonest or just incompetent. Even Jack, the protagonist from the first film, regularly cheated on his wife and didn't seem all that fazed when informed [[spoiler: of her murder]].
* All the bad guys in ''Film/KissOfTheDragon'' are examples of this trope. They even manage to assassinate a liaison from the Chinese government! If that police department had any semblance of an internal affairs department, they should have been all fired, provided they survived the inevitable war with China.
* In ''Film/HaroldAndKumarGoToWhiteCastle'', the duo meet a department full of cops who are all racist, incompetent bullies.
* In ''Film/AClockworkOrange'', George and Dim are as violent and vicious as cops as they were in their respective gangs. Also, the only scene in which they're shown (as cops) has them being concerned with revenge, as Alex was known to [[{{Neologism}} tolchock]] both of them repeatedly.
* In UsefulNotes/{{Bollywood}} films, the Indian police are either this or InvincibleHero types. No grey area. Ever.
* The cops shown in ''Film/{{Crash}}'' are all racist -- even the ones who aren't.
* ''Film/TheElementOfCrime''. Let's just say that with cops like this, you don't need [[TheMafia mafia]].
* The New York City Police Department in ''Film/{{Taxi}}'' (featuring Music/QueenLatifah) is portrayed mostly as competent. The ''incompetent'' part is the character out of it, Detective Washburn. Not only is the guy incompetent (the first time we see him he ruins a drug bust and gets his partner shot) he's also a terrible driver, and bumbles along from one mistake to the other until the end, where he assumes the CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass position.
* The entire police force in Rio are incompetent for failing to stop Dom and Brian in the finale chase in ''Film/FastFive''. Given that all of them were corrupt and on the payroll of the BigBad, they got what they deserved for betraying the police code for greed. Only Hobbs comes close to apprehending Dom in the film.
* The NOPD is this in ''Film/TheBadLieutenantPortOfCallNewOrleans''. Terrence [=McDonagh=] is a flagrantly DirtyCop, his partner is a RabidCop, the guy running the evidence room is letting [=McDonagh=] steal seized drugs for his personal use, and all the other cops are completely oblivious to his behavior, no matter how erratic and blatant it gets. At the end of the film, [[spoiler:the protagonist is promoted to captain for FramingTheGuiltyParty]].
* ''All'' the cops in ''Film/SuperTroopers'', with the grand exception Ursula, fit this trope to at least some degree. The Highway cops are mostly incompetent, and are usually too busy goofing off or playing games to do their jobs right. The town police are bad, since they're [[{{Jerkass}} unapologetic asshats]] who are more focused on their rivalry with the highway cops than doing their jobs, they're also [[spoiler:corrupt and running protection for a drug running ring]].
* The police in ''Film/{{Surveillance}}'' are universally corrupt, incompetent, or both. For example, Bennett and Conrad spend their days shooting out the tires of passing motorists and then terrorizing them about how their speeding must have caused the tire to blow out.
* In ''Film/HoubaOnTheTrailOfTheMarsupilami'', the [[LatinLand Chiquito]] policemen aren't very concerned with upholding the law, for example ignoring an attempted mugging a dozen meters away. (And the mugger is ''trying'' to get arrested.)

* All indication in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' is that the Ankh-Morpork watch used to be incompetent at best, brutal at worst, but since ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'', things have gotten a lot better very quickly.
** It's often mentioned that Ankh-Morpork trained watchmen are now in demand across the continent, and this is starting to cause problems for genre-savvy criminals used to the corrupt ones.
** The Day Watch in ''Discworld/MenAtArms'' are a classic example of the trope; the Night Watch at its lowest just failed to improve things, but Captain "Mayonnaise" Quirke's mob manage to make things significantly worse.
* ''Literature/TheGrapesOfWrath'' fulfills the "bad" part, if not necessarily "incompetent." The book attempts to {{justif|iedTrope}}y it in that they're paid per arrest, with no penalty for arresting the wrong person, and with the economy as it is, they desperately need the money.
* The two police organizations of ''Literature/TheHollows'' novels exemplify this troupe. Inderlander Security (IS) which is charged with policing the supernatural population is run by vampires who use it to cover their own criminal activity more than actual police work. Their human counterpoint the FIB is well meaning but lacks the manpower, training and resources to be effective.
* As is often TruthInTelevision, the militsiya of the small Russian provincial town where ''Literature/NightWatcher'' takes place is utterly and unabashedly corrupt. This includes [[DaChief the General]], who is ([[NecessarilyEvil of necessity a political powermonger]]) with GeneralRipper tendencies, and both of the protagonistic cops in the [[VampireHunter Night Team]], one of whom is a SociopathicHero CowboyCop, while the other is a homophobic DumbMuscle that once [[DudeShesLikeInAComa raped a sleeping female vampire]] for kicks. Those three, at least, [[NobleBigotWithABadge are actually better than they sound]], but still.
** Tha latter's CatchPhrase "Are there any faggots on the premises?" managed to become a minor MemeticMutation.
* Similar to the above example, much of the ''militsaya'' we see in ''Literature/GorkyPark'' similarly seem to fit this trope. Except for the protagonist, [[NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished which]] [[ArrestedForHeroism only]] [[HumiliationConga seems]] [[RussianGuySuffersMost to get him in trouble.]]
* Not only are HawkAndFisher the only City Guards of Haven to have never taken bribes, they are also so freaking darn competent that the rest of the Guard looks exactly like this trope in comparison.
* The cops in the ''Literature/DirkGently'' books [[DiscussedTrope claim, deadpan, to be an example]] of this trope. At one point, a detective asks Dirk to go outside and beat himself up, as all the police are too busy to properly brutalize him. [[AvertedTrope In reality]], they're not only pretty decent at their jobs, the same detective is a better ReasonableAuthorityFigure than Dirk, frankly, even ''deserves''. There is [[TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch one glaring exception]] to said aversion in ''Literature/TheLongDarkTeaTimeOfTheSoul'', however. Well, it's not like they could write "Died from violating a contract with a devil" on the paperwork, now could they?
* ''Literature/{{Incompetence}}'' has several police forces that are either completely useless or [[RabidCop astoundingly overzealous]]. Special mention goes to the one officer suffering from "Non-Specific Stupidity", who manages to handcuff himself while interrogating a deli owner over a sandwich.
* Happens literally in ''Prince of the City'' by Robert Daley. At the end of the book the DA is saddled with incompetent detectives who keep blowing cases and can't do investigations properly. He wonders where all the legendary NYPD cops went, and then belatedly realises he's put them all in jail for corruption.
* In William Marshall's Yellowthread Street novel ''Perfect End'', the central police characters discover that the leaders of the Hong Kong force were using one small police station as a [[ReassignedToAntarctica dumping-ground]] for all the cops who were incompetent, gratuitously violent, or suspected of corruption. Not unnaturally, it really sucked for the local residents, [[spoiler:until one of the cops pissed off a really hardcore criminal, who massacred the whole lot of them]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/AdamTwelve'': While Officer Edward Wells (Gary Crosby, in a recurring role) is by all accounts a very good officer, his [[JerkAss jerky behavior]] and tendency to shoot first-ask questions later lead to major problems for both himself and his fellow officers. He also tends to believe his way of handling a given situation is ''the'' only way, which more often than not is wrong but leads to bad consequences.
** Several episodes dealt with other officers who, in one way or another, are ill-suited, bad or otherwise incompetent. All of the episodes point to TruthInTelevision: Most police officers are good, upstanding citizens and honorable police officers, but the occasional one who breaks the law, engages in police brutality, or otherwise mars the badge will quickly be found out and just as quickly ousted from the force:
*** A 1972 episode, "Badge Heavy," focuses on police brutality, with Quinn Redeker (best known as the screen-writer for the 1978 Academy Award winning ''The Deer Hunter'') cast in the role of the rogue cop. Reed eventually helps wash the cop out, but the final downfall happens only after the bad cop smugly explains his "tough" attitude on criminals in the locker room.
*** The 1973 episode "Training Division," Wells was actually saddled with a "[[KnowNothingKnowItAll know-it-all]]" rookie officer, whose arrogance and insistence that he knows how to handle a given situation is not only bad but proves extremely dangerous ... especially when the officers are forced to deal with a sociopathic bomber, who hides a bomb at a grocery store. The rookie officer is unable to determine that the bomber's "hostage" is actually an accomplice; Reed isn't fooled and steps in before the other guy draws his gun. In the episode's [[AnAesop moral]], Precinct Chief [=MacDonald=] says that every officer makes mistakes, but the rookie's inability to learn from his mistakes -- and no doubt, his ultra-arrogant pride that he was ''the'' greatest cop played the key part in all that -- led to his downfall.
*** The 1975 episode "Pressure Point," where officers Reed and Malloy deal with an autistic rookie officer who hides his disorders, including stuttering. These all lead to a situation where he is unable to alert Reed and Malloy to a potential trap set up by the episode's bad guys; don't worry, the main protagonists use their instincts to save themselves and capture the baddies. Later, Reed and Malloy interrogate the rookie cop, who admits his shortcomings and resigns. (Reed and Malloy, albeit upset, are calm and rational when getting answers; the rookie's training officer, Jerry Woods, has a cow and wants to skin his hide.) It's all part of an episode explaining why police forces sometimes "discriminate" due to certain disabilities.
*** Side note on "Pressure Point": Perhaps aware of some of the rookie officer's shortcomings, Reed and Malloy are calm with him both during the shooting incident and an earlier landlord-tenant disturbance. In that earlier incident, the rookie recites verbatim the code for breaking-and-entering to one of the subjects; Reed, having determined that the woman was not a suspect, allows the rookie to finish, then privately (and in Malloy's presence) helps him understand why his handling could have been dangerous. The latter incident sees Malloy shout down Officer Woods when he blows his stack with the rookie officer.
* ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'': Barney Fife, although this is comically played UpToEleven (thanks to Don Knotts' vast comedic talents) as it is more his overblown know-it-all attitude that makes him who he is and made him one of television's most beloved characters. His worst area is arguably his ineptitude with firearms.
* ''Series/FamilyMatters'': Lt. Murtaugh, an egotistical, thinks-he's-the-greatest-cop superior officer played brilliantly by Barry Jenner. More often than not, Murtaugh would bumble his way through a given situation only for his subordinate, Carl Winslow, to handle the situation correctly and save their hides. Two other episodes highlighted serious mistakes made by Carl's other fellow officers:
** "Good Cop, Bad Cop": Eddie complains that he was the victim of racial profiling by two overzealous cops. Carl at first refuses to believe Eddie, since Eddie had lied before about late-night carousing, and this latest incident did take place late at night when he was supposed to be home. When Harriette asks Carl to at least get the other side of the story, he does ... and Carl finds out that the senior officer is indeed a severe racist who stopped Eddie simply because he was "a black in a white person's neighborhood." Carl is furious and says he will report him to the captain; he then urges the rookie officer sensing potential and that he had made a mistake that he can learn from to examine his own attitudes.
** "My Uncle, the Hero": Carl is leading a tour of the police station for his nephew Richie's class, and the predictably dull tour is about to end flatter than a pancake ... when a young officer's brief inattention to an un-handcuffed sociopathic bank robbery suspect leads to a brief hostage situation involving one of Richie's friends. Carl is able to talk the robber out of doing something he'd regret then, after the situation is resolved and the suspect taken to the holding cell, Carl takes the young officer aside and sets up a meeting time to discuss the situation and the mistake he made.
* ''Series/TwentyFour'' gives us [=CTU=], who we are [[InformedAbility repeatedly told]] are a premier Counter Terrorist Unit and whose badass reputation apparently is based upon their performance over the course of the show. This is strange, since over the course of the show they usually find out about major terrorist attacks mere hours before they are scheduled to be executed, and in the process of dealing with them often uncover ''more'' terrorist threats that were linked to them- on several occasions, they ''fail'' to stop them, so over the course of a decade America falls victim to chemical, biological and even nuclear attacks with tens of thousands of people killed. Several prominent political figures are also targeted for assassination on their watch, including several domestic, foreign and ex-Presidents (several succeed- if the official isn't killed, they are often at least crippled). And agents almost always manage to let personal problems get in their way in the middle of a national crisis, at least on the occasions when they aren't TheMole, of which there is at least one every Day (and sometimes even the ''moles'' are bogged down by their private lives). Other perils of becoming an elite counter-terrorist agent is criminals, traitors, and terrorists find it easy to blackmail or threaten you, or hold your close friends or family hostage. And if they manage to capture one of the perps and hold them prisoner, don't expect them to remain their long- they invariably tend to escape, die, or escape and ''then'' die after killing a whole bunch of people.
* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'':
** Rosco P. Coltrane, in many instances aside from his frequent inability to catch the Duke boys and his poor driving skills. For instance, his inattentiveness to several "10 Most Wanted" suspects he has arrested allows the criminal(s) to escape. In another episode, he (along with Boss Hogg) are smitten by a beautiful, conniving woman they have just hired as a deputy; a simple background check would have found she was the boyfriend of a syndicate bank robber and murderer (one who was to spend the night in Hazzard). In the later episode "Enos' Last Chance", Rosco's arrests an escaped syndicate criminal convicted of murder and robbery, but when he brings him to the courthouse for booking, uncuffs him and briefly turns his back, the wily criminal escapes!
** Enos Strate, who has been shown to be a competent lawman on many occasions, even slips up once in awhile. His biggest mistake came in the 1983 episode "Too Many Roscoes", where he gets upset when Rosco's double (an experienced bank robber) flubs simple facts... and he is unable to call him on this when "Rosco" recalls a scheduled armored car delivery to exact detail.
* ''Film/MurderInCowetaCounty'': In this 1983 adaptation of real live events surrounding the life of Meriwether County, Georgia, land baron John Wallace and his killing of a sharecropper (in a neighboring county), Wallace (the "master" of "The Kingdom") had the entire sheriff's department and court system under his thumb.
* The short lived Australian comedy ''Series/BadCopBadCop'' is all about this.
* The Reno Sheriff's Department from ''Series/{{Reno 911}}'', although with much more emphasis on incompetence over brutality.
* Turn ''Series/{{Reno 911}}'' 180 degrees, and you've pretty much got ''Series/TheShield''. With the caveat that just about every cop in the department ''is'' focused on catching criminals, and they ultimately are quite effective. Their methods leave something to be desired, though: only Dutch Wagenbach is show to be consistently honest, and even he turns to RabidCop in the pilot.
* There appears to be grand total of one cop in the ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' 'verse who's not incompetent, corrupt or both.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': 99% of the Sunnydale police department is either corrupt, or "deeply stupid".
* ''Series/TheWire''. The entire BPD is painted as some combination of incompetent, corrupt, or averse to actual police work. On the bad side (bordering on sadistic, even) you have Walker, then on the incompetent side you've got... cripes... half the main cast of the show. Valchek, Burrell, Polk, Mahone, Prez is shown as incompetent early in season one, but he gets better, much like Carver. Even the seemingly good cops like Lester and Jimmy aren't above [[spoiler: convincing everyone that there's a serial killer on the loose]]. The crown for King of the Morons, however, undisputedly sits atop Herc's bald bean. He is dumber than a sack of hammers, frequently outsmarted by people who are obviously guilty, and he's so over-zealous that he frequently abuses people who are obviously innocent.
** If cops on the show talk about "Doing it the Western District way" you can expect excessive brutality and brain-bending stupidity to follow. Especially with Herc.
** BPD are pretty competent and they definitely are not crooked. In most cases (like the killer scam) were examples of [[ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight circumventing the rules]] with [[RealityEnsues reality ensuing]]. [=McNulty=], Kima, Lester, Carver and even Herc are shown as very competent if somewhat rebellious (save for [=McNulty=], who is a typical CowboyCop). Prez is cocky and inexperienced, but learns quickly. The whole premise of the series was to show that police efficiency is influenced by far more factors that competency and honesty (e.g. political ambitions, public opinion and chance).
* ''Series/TheBill'', started as a low key cop show, then featured the cops more than the crime and finally went into all-out soap mode. By the end you could have halved the crime rate in Sun Hill by asking the local drug gangs to take over policing the area.
* ''Series/PrisonBreak'':
** Except for the Warden (who's naively oblivious), the other [=COs=] at Fox River are corrupt. And technically all are incompetent, considering the escape.
--->'''DOC Member:''' Why did these inmates have so much time to dig a hole in the floor of the guards break room while working prison industries?
** Then the show brings us Agent Mahone (who goes around [[spoiler:killing the escapees because he's being blackmailed for killing a different criminal earlier in his career.)]] And Agent Self.
* ''Series/BurnNotice'':
** While the show is fairly realistic in everything it portrays save its hyper-competent conspiracies and cops are usually very useful for Michael Weston, even though they're also usually (justifiably) after him, sometimes you wonder how neglectful the Miami Metro-police is considering how often Michael finds himself in a siege against non-silenced fully automatic armed thugs that never, ever even try to be subtle and take every chance to empty a magazine. In the middle of the city. For hours. With no policemen ever in sight.
** One of the worst examples is in the finale of season 4. A literal army of thugs are accompanying [[spoiler:Voughn]] to corner Michael into a non-finished hotel in the middle of the city, shooting whenever he pops his head out, and the police only ever shows when Michael sends out a signal to the police with the highest possible alert. And even then it only takes a little obfuscating from upwards in the chain of command for the full force to just ignore the shootings literally down the bloc.
* Subverted with the police in ''Series/KamenRiderKuuga'', not only do they accept that Kuuga is on their side (despite only one of them knowing anything about him...[[SecretKeeper which he doesn't tell his coworkers]], but they're ''actually'' capable of ''doing'' something to the MonsterOfTheWeek. The police in Kuuga are the hardest subversion of this in the franchise.
** ''Series/KamenRiderAgito'', the sequel to ''Kuuga'' (Kuuga and Agito are shown to be part of the same canon. In the Agito arc of ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'' it's even {{lampshade|Hanging}}d) is perhaps a close(er than others) second; while the police in general can't do anything to the MonsterOfTheWeek, they did make the G3 system, something that could fight them...granted it started out pretty useless(even in it's debut fight)...and the only real reason it's first user even became it's first user was to buy his silence about an event they didn't want people to know about (not that he knew about this, he thought he got it because he was the best man for the job)
* Murray the cop on ''Theatre/TheOddCouple'' is so incompetent that Oscar Madison refers to him as "The only cop who's gonna retire a rookie". He tries to find a missing pregnant girl and brings a different pregnant girl back, despite her protests. Felix Unger tells him "That's all right. You did your best. That's what's so tragic."
* After Manny gets four seasons of ''Series/TheSweeney'' and an espresso machine for his birthday, he goes a little mad and ends up accidentally blagging his way into a real police case. In order to keep up the delusion, he agrees to do a good cop / bad cop routine, resulting in this:
-->'''Bad Cop:''' You better start talking Nogsey, or I'll feed you to the sharks... (''nudges Manny to play good cop'')\\
'''Manny:''' (''awkwardly'') ...You have... beautiful eyes...
:: He finally snaps under the pressure when the other policeman leaves him in the room with a suspect. Luckily, his mad babbling freaks the suspect out so much he winds up confessing.
* The Thai police in ''Bangkok Hilton'' fall into WellIntentionedExtremist territory, as they're sincerely trying to deal with the drug trade. But the fact that they dismiss Kat's story without making any attempt to pass on her information on Arkie Ragan to the authorities in Australia comes across as this.
* On ''Series/{{Copper}}'' the police officers assigned to the Five Points neighborhood are all corrupt by modern standards. However, the group led by Det Corcoran is actually quite competent and fair in their own way. In contrast the group led by Sgt. Byrnes is extremely corrupt (they prefer that a murder victim has no relatives since it allows them to loot all of the victim's possessions) and really lazy in their investigations. This culminates in Byrnes failing to realize that a murder victim was quite obviously poisoned and dying himself when he eats the food the dead man was previously eating. Consequently, Corcoran takes control of the precinct and uses the incident as an object lesson on why too much corruption and incompetence is detrimental to a copper's well being.
* The cops of Lake Top in ''Series/TopOfTheLake''. Their leader, Al, is in the pocket of the local CorruptHick, smacks suspects around, and spends his time alternately patronising and [[DoggedNiceGuy creepily hitting on]] the female protagonist, a police officer from the city. [[spoiler:He's also running a paedophile ring.]] The other cops are less characterised, but are all corrupt, lazy and insensitive.
* The list of cops on ''Series/{{Gotham}}'' who have any interest in actually fighting crime starts with Jim Gordon and extends to the Major Crimes detectives who are actively gunning for him. After that the list gets very short.
* The 70's anthology show Police Story had several:
** A true story involved a patrol officer who carelessly opened a box with a bomb in it getting one of his hands (and one hand of his partner) blown off. The second officer (eventually nicknamed "Captain Hook") came back to the force despite having a hook for his primary hand.
** Another was the inspiration for the series SWAT had a detective put in charge of the SWAT team making more and more mistakes, getting someone killed and eventually having a complete breakdown during a crisis. He then came back in another assignment.
** One had a patrol officer who was too lackadaisical about his job, then gorging on junk food making him too sick to go out. His partner wound up alone and was killed on duty for lack of backup. He then quit the force.

* The parody song "Go Cops" by Rucka Rucka Ali (set to Music/{{Kesha}}'s "Tik Tok") is about a group of police officers getting high on duty and harassing minorities.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''Franchise/StreetFighter: the Storytelling Game'', Interpol relies on fighters from a highly organized illegal street fighting circuit to take down Shadowloo operations because 50% of every single local police force in the world is on the take (basically if there is a small sheriff's office with only a sheriff and a deputy, at least one of them will be on the take).
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' this trope is commonplace. Thanks to [[LawEnforcementInc many police forces worldwide being privatized]] and given incentive to turn a profit and nothing else, police in low-income areas tend to be staffed by the worst the precinct has to offer. Corruption and PoliceBrutality are common, and many police officers hold [[FantasticRacism metahuman prejudice]] that gets overlooked as long as their employers do not complain. And then there are the [=CorpSec=] outfits, which supply the [[MegaCorp megas]] with in-house security, which makes the public police look professional by comparison.

* ''Theatre/WestSideStory'' features Officer Shrank (Bad Cop) and Officer Krupke (Incompetent Cop) - not that Shrank is particularly competent, it's just that the Bad is more important in his characterisation.
* ''Theatre/GreatBritain'' shows almost every named police officer in the Met as being corrupt, incompetent or both. The service comes under fire for the AccidentalMurder of a black vicar because he was carrying a carrot in a bag in Lidl, causing a ridiculously ([[BlackComedy in the darkest sense possible]]) poor cover-up. On top of this, Commissioner Sully Kassam ends up embarrassing himself at almost every opportunity, by having an affair with someone he shouldn't have been, admitting constantly that "the one thing I haven't got is a clue" and committing career suicide when [[spoiler:his demonstration of a taser results in him racially abusing an officer]], becoming an internet meme as he slowly edges towards being fired. The corruption aspect is eventually played more seriously with Assistant Commissioner Davison, who [[WellIntentionedExtremist partnered with Free Press to try and solve a case]], only for things to go ''horribly'' wrong.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* A lot of it is AllThereInTheManual, but in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'', Liberty City cops are mostly corrupt and/or incompetent. Of course, in [[CrapsackWorld GTA's world]], pretty much everyone is.
-->'''[[Radio/GTARadio Andi]]''': "In nearby [[VideoGame/{{Manhunt}} Carcer City]], a good day for law and order as police chief Gary Shaver was cleared of corruption charges in a controversial decision by the court. [[SnuffFilm Let's hope those missing witnesses turn up safe and sound]]."
** It gets even worse in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV''. In this version of Liberty City, police are so far above the law they're practically in low-Earth orbit. Very frequently, cops will cause massive collateral damage just to catch one lawbreaker. And let's not get started on [[StateSec NOOSE]].
** Hell, a lot of crime-focused WideOpenSandbox games will have this trope in full effect with the setting's police force, so [[VillainProtagonist the player]] doesn't feel so bad about [[AssholeVictim killing them]].
** Surprisingly averted by a number of multiplayer clans, who actually roleplay as the police and try pretty hard to be better at it.
* In ''Franchise/AceAttorney'', detectives are partnered with prosecutors rather than other cops. Until ''[[VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth Investigations]]'' (where he's with Edgeworth after the latter's HeelFaceTurn) this applies to Dick Gumshoe and whatever jerk he's been partnered with this time. In ''VisualNovel/{{Apollo Justice|AceAttorney}}'', though, Ema Skye was actually more of a {{Jerkass}} than the prosecutor she was paired with (as she was bitter and irritable for being stuck with a job she didn't really like), mixing up the dynamic.
** And then subverted in ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies Dual Destinies]]'', where Detective Bobby Fulbright is both remarkably good ''and'' remarkably bad at his job, while the prosecutor seems to be less concerned with justice than with victory (as per usual). The subversion comes when [[spoiler: Fulbright is revealed to be TheMole, and all his competence and incompetence was just a ploy for him to advance his own agenda]].
* The cops in ''VideoGame/HeavyRain'' aren't terribly competent; Blake the JerkAss detective is more interested in beating people up than finding the truth and he hasn't been able to get even ''close'' to a real suspect for the Origami Killer in years. His captain is revealed as being equally incompetent when he backs up Blake and thinks that totally circumstantial evidence has their RedHerring suspect "dead to rights." However, the cops display ''hyper''-competence whenever it'll impede the progress of the main characters, such as setting up a road block less than a couple of minutes after Ethan's been driving down a highway the wrong way. In other words, it's an inversion of BeAsUnhelpfulAsPossible, where the ''cops'' do everything they can to block the plot.
* The police in ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' spend most of their time standing around being incompetent (when they're not corrupted by Giygas). However, after you defeat Frankie and the first My Sanctuary guardian in Onett, you're called into the chief of police's office, where they take turns attempting to inflict police brutality upon you before the chief himself attacks. Granted, it's implied that they're under Giygas' control.
* Most of Cole Phelps' partners in ''VideoGame/LANoire'' fall into this: Rusty Galloway is an alcoholic, [[RabidCop violently aggressive]] {{jerkass}}, Roy Earle is an ''extremely'' DirtyCop, and Herschel Biggs is an apathetic burnout who [[ShellShockedVeteran never got over his PTSD from World War I.]] Only Stefan Bekowsky is an honest and hard-working cop, but even he's dismissed by Earle as a "pushover."

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The Podunkton police force from ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''. Officer Tod is a former mob enforcer who lets the town's VigilanteMan do all the work, while Deputy Edsel, upon seeing the police station is on fire, runs home to call the police station and report it. Seeing as how the town ''used'' to be completely controlled by drug-runners, it's likely that competent, honest cops wouldn't have had a very good life expectancy.
* The Bison Guards in ''Webcomic/TheWaterPhoenixKing'' are ''supposed'' to be protecting the highways from the [[WonTheWarLostThePeace bandits infesting the hills thereabouts,]] but they'd rather stay at the inn where it's warm and dry and there are pretty barmaids who freelance on the side. And those are the ''good'' ones -- some of them joined up for the opportunity to beat down uppity peasants as well as a paycheck, and prefer bullying the immigrants and foreigners, human and otherwise, who have dared invade their realm looking for work to chasing baddies and getting shot at [[BodyHorror (or worse!)]] Fortunately for business in Vasgol, Our Heroes are on hand to do the job -- one [[{{Precursors}} Elven Ranger]] [[ShellShockedVeteran with PTSD ,]] one AxCrazy DarkMagicalGirl, one FunSize FallenAngel, and a whole lot of coffee to keep them going. Yeah, [[AWorldHalfFull it's a mess.]]
* A [[http://www.bitercomics.com/comic/inside-job/ hit and run]] is reported and one officer seems eager to go take care of it, right after he hoses a bit of blood off his car in a ''Webcomic/BiterComics'' strip.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The WretchedHive city of Denton in ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'' is partially such due to the fact that the police force are either corrupt or really just plain bad at their jobs.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Harvey Bullock plays with this trope in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''. When it comes to doing things by the book he is hopelessly inept, but when it comes to straight up getting results or when thrown into the fray he is shown to be ''as capable at fighting and improvising as Batman''.
* Chief Wiggum from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. Although the Chief and his men tend to lean more towards [[CluelessDeputy ignorant and bumbling]]. They can be corrupt but aren't usually viciously corrupt like most of the examples listed in this trope (although they are corrupt, no doubt about that.) The motto engraved into their badges is ''"Cash Bribes Only."''
-->'''Smithers:''' Shouldn't we call the police?\\
'''Mr. Burns:''' Every last one is on the take! [[CorruptCorporateExecutive And I should know, I'm the one on the give]].
* Officer Barbrady on ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''.
-->'''Cartman:''' Respect mah authoritaaah! *clubs man in the kneecap*\\
'''Officer Barbrady:''' No, you've got it all wrong! That is ''not'' how you uphold the law! *grabs baton from Cartman* Hit them in the ''head'', they go down faster!
** Later seasons have a whole police department full of complete idiots. The department serves as a parody of "Cop Drama" shows and movies. In addition to supreme idiocy and disregard for legality in most cases, the South Park P.D. also resort to violence at a pin drop, savagely beating any suspect to a pulp regardless of their compliance (unless, of course, they suspect the person for logical reasons), and ventilating anyone who doesn't respond to a confrontation fast enough.
* On ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' the cops try Good Cop, Mentally Challenged Cop on suspects.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers'', the Crown garrison on Tortuna engage in "routine torture," regularly accept bribes, and can't seem to organize a picnic without a Slaverlord present.
* The two regular cops on ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' behave this way.
-->'''Leela:''' (''after stopping them from savagely beating Fry'') You guys were out of control!\\
'''Smitty:''' That's our job! We're peace officers!\\
'''URL:''' You gotta do what you gotta do.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', Brock and Doc are brought in for the murder of Jean-Claude [=LeTueur=] and get interrogated by aggressive muscleman Sgt. Heat and bumbling moron Lt. Collar. Heat slaps Doc every time he tries to talk, and Collar does a weak job of making a QuipToBlack-style pun on the details of the killing. Doc gets fed up and eventually derides them as "The bad cop and the retarded cop".
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'': Sheriff Stone of Crystal Cove is so inept that Scooby-Doo looks him in the eye and calls him the worst police officer he's ever met. Stone's response is to growl that the talking dog has been talking to his lawyer again. The sheriff is more willing to allow fake monsters to terrorize Crystal Cove as it would attract tourists to the town, no matter how dangerous they truly are. He improves in the second season, but it's obvious that he's mostly doing it to impress the new mayor, Janet Nettles, whom he has a crush on.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' this is subverted, except for one cop named Mike Brikowski, who, after being fired, manages to get Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup in a trap made of an air tank filled with knockout gas, a crane, reinforced chains (made by Mojo Jojo), and a vat of acid within the police impound. His own fellow officers bust him.
-->'''Officer Brikowski:''' This is just another story of a good-cop-gone-bad.\\
'''Blossom:''' You're not a "good-cop-gone-bad", you're a bad cop gone '''''WORSE!'''''
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Trollhunters}}'' episode "[[Recap/TrollhuntersS2E12MistrialAndError Mistrial and Error]]", when Claire tries doing the GoodCopBadCop routine to get [=RotGuts=] to tell them about a suspected changeling, Blinky misreads the signals and thinks that he is playing bad cop and proceeds to threaten them with a live dwärkstone.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The Philippine National Police, which is notorious for tolerating unbridled corruption, particularly in the form of petty traffic bribery. They are also known to torture and beat up small-time offenders in their custody -- an Amnesty International affiliate revealed they used a ''[[http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/28/philippines-police-wheel-of-torture-game wheel of torture]]'' on their victims.
* In UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} during the Prohibition-era, just about all of the Chicago Police Department was pretty much in UsefulNotes/AlCapone's pockets. Even now, although far better than the Prohibition-era, Chicago Police are known for being very corrupt/incompetent by American standards.
* The Department of Justice scathing reports on police departments are pretty depressing. Including reports about the aforementioned ''[[https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-announces-findings-investigation-chicago-police-department Chicago PD]]''.