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Anime & Manga
Leon from .
Bubblegum Crisis Spinoffs give him a reason: he was in a SWAT team before and had to face rogue boomers with just a riot shield and (maybe) a shotgun. One can get a little iffy in such situations.
has inspector (later superintendent) Saeko Nogami, who is willing to City Hunter hire a professional killer offering her own body as payment to take down the worst criminals, only to refuse to actually pay. Due a combination of being very smart and the daughter of the superintendent-general (the chief of the whole police in Tokyo), she not only gets away with it but manages to pass herself as a .
By-the-Book Cop Juna in starts out as a Cowboy Earth Maiden Arjuna Magical Girl, mowing down through Raajers until Da Chief Chris tells her to stop.
In , this is what got Hillshire thrown out of Europol.
Gunslinger Girl is what happens when you get an entire Dominion Tank Police battalion of guys like this. And in a humorous twist, the most cowboy of the cowboy cops in the squad is the only : girl in the squad Action Girl and Cargo Shipper Leona.
Batou in is a good example for an actually heroic cowboy cop, but the whole Section 9 could fit this trope as well. Even Aramaki and the Major, who are much more sophisticated and less hot-blooded don't have the law very high on their list of priorities. Given the corrupt state of the Japanese government and the fact that Section 9 seems to spend more time fighting against rival national security and military forces loyal to other factions of the government than actually dealing with terrorists, it's understandable.
Ghost in the Shell In short, the whole Section 9 is a shining example.
Daisuke Aurora in .
Heat Guy J "Sleepy" John Estes, the titular , always acts in the interest of justice first and foremost. He does this by killing every violent criminal he meets — it's very rare for him to make an actual arrest. His chief thinks he' a disgrace to the uniform and keeps trying to curtail his exploits or get him fired, but Internal Affairs says he's clean (he's not).
Mad Bull 34 has Captain Smoker, the main protagonist's primary One Piece Inspector Javert / Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist. In fact, his tendency for this is implied to be the main reason why he had his rank during the start of the series — Smoker's strength was well beyond that of a captain at the time. Eventually, he gets promoted to Commodore, and then Vice-Admiral, and is
still chasing after Luffy. One Officer Jenny in . She'll attack you with a bowling ball before sending out her Chatot, buddy.
Pokémon Hibari in is a justified version: She gets away with being a Cowboy Cop because her chief is Speed Grapher terrified of her. Besides, she doesn't attack people; she self-defenses them.
In , pretty much Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds any cop that isn't a Corrupt Cop is like this. Even Tetsu Ushio qualified after his Heel-Face Turn. (Considering that the card game is Serious Business even to the police, and with motorcycles in this one, it's no surprise.)