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Los Angeles Police Department Metropolitan Division
Sergeant II Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson
Played by: Shemar Moore
- The Ace: Hondo, no doubt. He's a stellar cop with a distinguished career, a S.W.A.T. sergeant who's promoted to team leader who apparently excels at any field of police work he undertakes and never does anything half way.
- Hondo humbly admits he has the drive to be the best he can possibly be because of discrimination he dealt with being a black cop that he had to exceed expectations so he could move up the LAPD ladder.
- Action Hero: He qualifies as he's a SWAT officer, has been a cop since at least 1999 and is promoted to 20-David team leader. He also previously served in the Marines Corps.
- Angry Black Man: Though Hondo generally refrains from responding, Hondo admits that the racial profiling and discrimination he's experienced being a black cop make him justifiably angry in spite of his venture to bridge the gap between the LAPD and the community. In Season 2, after an incident with a cop who pulled him over for "driving while being black", Hondo plays this trope straight after shattering a motel lamp in his anger. Hondo shows how angry he can be after his half-sister Brianna is targeted by a serial rapist and the guy walks.
- Badass Baritone: Hondo has quite the deep voice.
- Badass Beard: A goatee actually, and fits the badass part.
- Bald, Black Leader Guy: He's this for his team.
- Bald of Awesome: Hondo, given he's a SWAT sergeant, and is portrayed by Shemar Moore.
- Big Brother Instinct: Hondo to his younger half-sister Brianna. In "Day Off", when she's spiked with a rape drug by a suspected serial rapist, Hondo goes all out to find her would-be attacker, going so far as threatening the perp right in his face without solid evidence of rape.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: All the time. Hondo goes above and beyond to put everyone else's safety and well-being before his own whether it's a member of his team, misguided suspects or a victim, and has multiple Big Damn Heroes moments. Deacon calls him out on this, and Hondo responds that he's had to hold things up on his own shoulders since he was a teen, after his father left him, his mom and sister, that he had to grow up to help pay the bills.
- Conflicting Loyalties: A black cop who was born and raised on the Southside of greater Los Angeles, Hondo is often torn between his ties to the community and his allegiance to his brothers in blue.
- Disappeared Dad: Was close to his father, Daniel Harrelson Sr. who walked out on Hondo, his mother and sister when he was 14 leaving Hondo particularly scarred feeling he meant nothing in the eyes of his dad.
- Experienced Protagonist: Served in the USMC before joined the LAPD. He was deployed to Somalia in the 1990s and in Japan by way of Okinawa. Hondo joined the LAPD afterwards and previously served in patrol as a uniformed officer.
- A Father to His Men: He is immensely close and protective of his team and fellow officers. He admits his fears for the team when Chris is doused with poison gas in "Source Gas".
- The Fettered: After dealing with a cop who pulled him over for "Driving While being Black", Hondo admits he has to fight the urge to pound idiots like that into the dirt because all it would do was confirm in their minds that being a black man meant he was just a thug.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: In Season 2, "Never Again" up against a heavily armored suspect with a machine gun, Hondo 'skips' a bullet, deliberately firing the round so it would ricochet off a steel manhole to get the bullet underneath the suspect's armor.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Hondo never does anything half way, whether it's a SWAT call, surveillance or detective work or negotiating with a suspect who's in a corner.
- The Lancer: In the beginning at the start of the series' pilot, being the most assertive and action-oriented of the team before his promotion.
- The Leader: Promoted to the position of leader of his SWAT team in the pilot.
- Mr. Fanservice: Has a Shirtless Scene now and then and, again is portrayed by Shemar Moore.
- Never Live It Down:
- In "Cuchillo", he comes swooping in on a helicopter and shoots the perp from the air. His teammates find this to be so ridiculous, and the subsequent publicity so egregious, that they decide to skip their tradition of awarding someone the "Jackass of the Month" trophy and give Hondo a "Jackass of the Year" plaque.
- In "Hunted", Deacon uses this as an example of Hondo's ego, saying he doesn't have to be the one "taking a sniper shot out of a helicopter" to cement his status as team leader. Hondo responds by saying he could only get to where he is by being better than everyone else because he's "just the black dude".
- In the second season episode "Inheritance", Hondo is visibly embarrassed when some Arizona cops he's training start squeeing about the incident.
- Papa Wolf: Has a godson Calvin who gets kidnapped in "K-Town" by a heroin smuggling ring, and after getting him back safely, Hondo goes all out to take down the head of the ring, a dirty mogul developers, even against his superiors' orders.
- Parental Substitute: In Season 2, after failing to find the son of his incarcerated friend Leroy, Darryl, a proper foster hom, Hondo becomes his foster father and takes Darryl in.
- Race Lift: Like in the 2003 movie, Hondo is now black.
- Rated M for Manly: He has the Badass Baritone. Shirtless Scene? More than once, complete with a Heroic Build.
- Real Men Cook: Hondo is noted to be an exceptional cook.
- Secret Relationship: With Jessica who's now his immediate superior which could land them in hot water if their affair is discovered. As of "Armory", only Plank and Hicks are aware of it and told them to break it in order to salvage their careers.
- Semper Fi: Served in the Marines before joining the L.A.P.D.
- Token Minority: The only black member of his team.
- Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Hondo is promoted to SWAT leader by Commander Hicks simply to quell the optics of the previous leader Sgt. Buck Spivey's accidentally shooting an unarmed black teenager. Hondo derides the move by telling Cortez, "(Higgs) doesn't want my ideas. He wants a mascot."
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Played for Laughs in episode 2, when SWAT arrests an escaped animal trafficker with a python draped over his shoulders.Hondo: "Luca ... get that thing off of him."
Luca: "What? Why me?"
Hondo: "I don't mess with snakes. Go!"
- You Are a Credit to Your Race: Hondo reveals in "Hunted" that he had to better than anyone else in order to get basic recognition, owing to the fact that he is black.
- You Are in Command Now: He's promoted to 20-David team leader of his SWAT team in the pilot following previous leader Buck's termination.
Sergeant II David "Deacon"/"Deac" Kay
Played by: Jay Harringon
- Action Dad: Is a police sergeant II in SWAT with three, now four, kids.
- Adaptation Name Change: In the original series and in the film adaptation, the character was named "Deacon Kay". In this series, the character is actually named "David" and "Deacon" is a nickname he uses at work.
- Badass Beard: Sports one and he definitely fits the badass part.
- Berserk Button: He takes cases where kids are harmed and their parents are worried sick personally.Deacon: "You just want to keep your kids safe. But you can't. Not every second. It's the dirty secret of parenthood." (Walks away)
Luca: "This stuff really winds him up."
- Experienced Protagonist: He's been with LAPD for years, and is a ten-year SWAT vet.
- Family Man: Has a family, married to his wife Annie and has twins Matthew and Lila, a toddler, in Season 2 a newborn named Victoria, though he regularly has to balance his time with them and the job.
- Happily Married: He's the only member of his team who is married in a healthy, committed relationship.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Hicks and Hondo.
- Humble Hero: Though he was next in line for command of the team after Buck was terminated, and did feel burned over being passed over for team leader, he respects and follows Hondo's lead without question.
- Namesake: His daughter, Lila is named after a student who was a victim of a high school shooting back in 2013.
- Number Two: Becomes this for the team after Hondo is promoted to be leader. Was this to Buck beforehand.
- Omniglot: The season 2 premiere shows he's fluent in French.
- Passed-Over Promotion: He had seniority and was actually next in line for command but Hondo was promoted instead over political optics.
- Race Lift: Deacon was previously portrayed by African-American actors Rod Perry and LL Cool J. In this adaptation, he's played by the Caucasian Jay Harrington.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni
- The Stoic: He's the strong and silent type.
- Team Spirit: Deacon is known for always putting the team first.
- What You Are in the Dark
Officer III+1 Dominique Luca
Played by: Kenny Johnson
- Age Lift: He's played by Kenny Johnson when the show started, in contrast to the original show by Mark Shera when he was casted in his 20s.
- Actor-Shared Background: Kenny Johnson is dyslexic.
- Big Eater: All his teammates note this about him, known for emptying fridges and searching online for chicken wagons in "Patrol".
- Boisterous Bruiser: He's the most hyperactive and fun-loving member of the team.
- The Bro Code: Luca invokes the "SWAT Code", claiming that teammates have to have each other's backs no matter what, to find a place to crash after yet another girlfriend kicks him out.
- Cool Uncle: Called this to Deacon's twin children.
- Designated Driver: He's the one who drives the team out to calls in their armored truck 'Black Betty' as well as any SWAT car or SUV. In s2 ep8, when a civilian claims to have been hit by Black Betty and Luca's driving privileges are revoked due to the civilian dating the mayor's daughter. Luca claims to have had a perfect driving record and can't remember the last time he was in a vehicle he wasn't driving.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty
- Friends Are Chosen, Family Aren't: Luca was on the outs with his grandfather when the old man died, and reveals to Hondo why: he was furious at his grandfather's racist attitude in believing a black officer had no business being in charge of a SWAT team and had tried getting Luca transferred to Mumford's team when Hondo was given command. Luca also admits not telling this to his father because of the fear that he'll agree with the sentiment.
- Hates Being Alone: The team figures out Luca doesn't want to live alone when they try to put an end to his endlessly crashing at theirs and his girlfriends' places by finding him an apartment somewhere, so they give him a roommate - Duke.
- It Runs in the Family: Luca's grandfather was in the very first group of LAPD SWAT officers and is regarded as a hero by many in the LAPD, while his father was likewise a distinguished SWAT member.
- "L" Is for "Dyslexia": In episode, Luca reassures a young school girl who's visiting SWAT that reading is hard, revealing to her mother like him, she's dyslexic. He mentioned in "Trigger Creep" that it was due to this that he gets into fight while in school when his classmates make fun of him.
- Married to the Job: Luca says that SWAT will always be his first love and that girlfriends take second priority. This has led to the spectacular dissolution of relationships on a semi-regular basis and his having to crash at teammates' homes.
- Omniglot: He can speak English and Korean, due to his assignment throughout Koreatown after he was assigned into uniformed detail.
- Real-Life Relative: Kenny Johnson's daughter Angelica plays Kelly in S1:E18 "Patrol" and S2:E22 "Trigger Creep."
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: Luca has worn out his welcome at each one of his teammates' homes, being a messy and inconsiderate house guest, emptying fridges and pantries, and keeping children up all night playing video games. He's so bad, in fact, that Hondo considers foisting him on Street as being suitable punishment for a mistake that would have otherwise gotten the rookie fired.
- Three Successful Generations: Luca's father served in LAPD SWAT before Luca himself, and his grandfather before him.
- Weapon of Choice: He carries an MP-5 submachine gun as his primary weapon, as opposed to the HK416 carbines the rest of the team carry.
Officer III Christina "Chris" Alonso
Played by: Lina Esco
- Action Girl: A badass female officer on Hondo's SWAT team.
- Bi the Way: After Chris reveals she's going on a date with a female videographer that Street was trying to ask out, he's confused because he thought she liked men. She clarifies she likes both.
- Boyish Short Hair: See her character portrait and she's The Lad-ette.
- The Confidant: She becomes this for Street.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Reveals to a young female victim who's afraid to disclose to the police that she was once assaulted, then taken and held hostage for hours by a group of guys when she was fifteen on an walk out.
- Friendly Sniper: Serves as this to the team whenever a sniper is required.
- Heroes Love Dogs: A former canine trainer for the canine platoon. She mentions in the pilot she's waiting for a replacement. Also, Street points out she loves German Shepherds on her social media.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: She and Street become tight after he puts an end to his hitting on her and she later provides him with a listening ear.
- The Lad-ette: Shown by her fashion sense alongside being a female cop working in a male-dominated environment who's more than capable of keeping up with her male coworkers.
- Never Live It Down: Due to being a lone female officer in SWAT, Chris knows she doesn't often get the same benefit of the doubt when the going gets tough as a male officer would, hence her determination and dedication to the job to prove to the higher ups she's just as capable a SWAT officer as the others.
- In "Patrol", during a manhunt the suspect gets the jump on Chris, overpowers and beats her up then gets away, it bites her hard when rival SWAT leader Mumford makes comments that her "bite isn't as good as her bark" as Mumford was open to progression and diversity by planning on offering her a spot on his team, when they're partnered together.
- Polyamory: In Season 2, Chris meets a girl named Kira who actually has a fiancee named Ty, and both of them propose to Chris be their equal "third" in their relationship.
- The Smurfette Principle: For Hondo's team.
- The Squadette: So far the only female SWAT cop. Justified Trope as the LAPD has had a 4:1 ratio of male officers to female officers as of 2013.
- Twofer Token Minority: Alonso has to deal with discrimination being a woman in SWAT since not a lot of female LAPD officers are serving in the unit, not to mention also being Latina and bisexual.
Officer III Victor Tan
Played by: David Lim
- Action Hero: Tan is a III officer for the LAPD and on Hondo's team.
- Bromance: Starts out annoyed by Street's Leeroy Jenkins tendencies in the beginning like the others, though they do strike up a friendship later in the series.
- Dark and Troubled Past: When Tan was 10, a cousin of his died and Tan was told it was a car crash. He was still affected by it. Eventually he looked into it when he got older discoverinh he actually Oded.
- Disappeared Dad: His father is deceased.
- Hero of Another Story: His position as anti-Vice officer prior to joining SWAT.
- It's Personal: In S 2 E 19, "Rocket Fuel", when a designer brand of PCP known as Rocket Fuel is put on the market, Tan goes all out, calling in favors to find the supplier and individually takes down the perp. He reveals to Hondo a cousin of his O Ded on Rocket Fuel when Tan was 10.
- Omniglot: In both English and Cantonese.
- Origin Story:
- Out of Focus: For the first part of Season 1.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: His actor is left out of the credits for the first few episodes of Season 1 as well as being Out of Focus.
- Token Minority: The only Asian-American member of the team.
Officer III Jim Street
Played by: Alex Russell
- Abusive Parents: His father was an abusive alcoholic who abused and terrorized Street and his mom Karen, and she is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who causes trouble and manipulates him for her own ends.
- Action Hero: He's a A+ plus cop and given a place with Hondo's SWAT team.
- The Atoner: After he realizes how his mother was using him, when he finally makes it back to SWAT he tries to make amends by volunteering for the crap assignments. "Pride" shows him finally telling Hondo about his mother gone missing. "Kangaroo" eventually showing Street getting more mature, by having his mother get a treatment in a state custody, even if it means by sending her back to prison.
- Broken Pedestal: He outwardly believes his mother isn't as bad as she seems, that after she gets out of prison he tries to help her adjust, even losing his SWAT spot over her until in Season 2 "Saving Face" he finally loses all loyalty to her after finding cocaine in their home, realizing the selfish person she is, calls her out on everything she put him through and moves out, cutting all ties with her.
- Bromance: With Victor. Luca too.
- Character Development: Street starts off as an impulsive hot shot and thrill-seeker, bordering on Death Seeker and is noted in his record to have a number of disciplinary charges and known for not playing well with others. He eventually grows into the team/family mindset demanded of SWAT.
- Chekhov's Skill: Thank's to Street befriending Whip during his time undercover at Carjacking ring, his car hacking skill is proven to be useful when the team tries to apprehend the home invasion crew who is trying to getaway with a car.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: To teach Street a lesson, Hondo decides to have the rookie house Luca until Luca can find a place of his own.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He and his mom was abused by his alcoholic father, then his mom went to prison for murdering his father and making him a part of his murder when he was 12. Right after that, he was passed around the foster system.
- Drives Like Crazy: In his opening scene, he's rocketing down the street on his motorcycle, rushing traffic lights picking himself up a patrol car until he loses them when he arrives at the precinct.
- Fair Cop: A SWAT officer and rather dashing.
- Hot-Blooded: Impulsive, reckless with a disregard for the rules and is easily provoked when insulted, though he eventually shapes up after working with S.W.A.T. But from time to time, he charges it if someone tries to push his buttons.
- Humiliation Conga: "Homecoming" begins with Street being shot down by Alonso because she doesn't date other cops. Then he's convinced by Tan to ask out the videographer who was showing obvious interest when talking to Street and Alonso, only for her to reveal she's gay. Then Alonso shows up to take her on a date, much to Street's confusion, until Alonso clarifies she's bisexual. And then he finds out Tan knew the entire time.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Initially, as he charges right into action without thinking about the consequences. In the pilot, he runs full out towards a sniper's nest with no cover and out of place with the team. Hondo and the others chew him out for this.
- Momma's Boy: Blindly devoted towards his mom, despite the fact she used him as an accessory to murder his abusive father when he was 12, and her clearly using his job as a cop for her own ends, so much so he tries to smooth things over whenever she causes trouble for him, living with her and even helping her get a job. He finally loses all respect for her after discovering she's using and buying drugs off the streets.
- New Meat: Jim Street is a brand new addition to the LAPD SWAT and immediately a thorn in Hondo's side.
- Reality Ensues: In the season 1 finale, Street gets kicked off SWAT by Hondo after he goes AWOL to help his mother who calls for his help, and he lies about why. This is after Street showed up to work late after helping her out with getting a job.
- Season 2 also centers on him participating in SWAT selection in an official capacity since he was in uniform for a few months, although he was immediately allowed to join since he was a transfer from Long Beach.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Portrayed by Alex Russell.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Street is often on the receiving end of this because of his impulsiveness and tendency to rush right into situatioons.
Sergeant II Jeff Mumford
Played by: Peter Onorati
- Big Damn Hero: In one episode Hondo's team had to contain a prison riot while Mumford's team was dealing with a bank robbery. When Hondo's team was pinned down, Mumford's team arrived just in time to save them.
- But Now I Must Go: In Season 2 "Jack" after he's feeling his age, and knowing his wife Vicki would be relieved that he'd no longer out risking his life, he hands in his notice to Hicks and Cortez and retires in "Invisible".
- Day in the Limelight: Season 2 episodes "Day Off" and "Jack".
- Decomposite Character: He bears a stronger resemblance to the 1975 series' version of Hondo than this series' version.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: He's an instructor for the SWAT Training academy.
- Experienced Protagonist: He's a SWAT veteran with the members of Hondo's team joking when he'll ever retire.
- Feeling Their Age: In "Day Off" after another day at SWAT, he's reclining on a bench in the locker room winded and exhausted, and one of his legs is supported in a brace after jumping through a roof. In "Jack", he announces he's retiring from SWAT after taking a round to his helmet and admitting that no matter how hard he tries he can't keep up with his fellow officers any more.
- Hero of Another Story: Has his own team with their own adventures, usually off-camera.
- Hidden Depths: His new wife says he is a talented singer to the surprise of Hondo's team. He points out to them how much they really know about them.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Competitive, tough and sometimes the mocking rival to Hondo and his team, known keeping score of each team's busts trying to outdo each other. He gets along well with them all nonetheless.
- The Leader: Of his own SWAT team.
- Noble Bigot with a Badge: He's a good cop dedicated to serving and protecting everyone, but in the pilot when he thinks the residents of a black neighborhood are targeting cops, his instinct is to make the neighborhood hurt and he's also very resistant to Cortez's progressive reform initiatives.
- Retired Badass: He realized it was time for him to go.
- The Rival: He and his team enjoy a competitive but friendly rivalry with Hondo's.
Sergeant II Donovan Rocker
Played by: Lou Ferrigno Jr.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: He's an instructor for the SWAT training academy in "S.O.S.", alongside Luca and Mumford.
- Fair Cop: A member of S.W.A.T., Rocker defintely fits the bill a committed cop
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Mumford.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Competitive and sometimes mocking towards Hondo's team but never out of malicious intent, getting along and working well with them.
- Number Two: He serves as SIC to Mumford on their SWAT team.
- Rank Up: After Mumford retires, Rocker makes Sergeant II and takes over command of their team as 50-David.
- The Rival: Joins Mumford in their friendly rivalry with Hondo's team.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome:
- You Are in Command Now: As of "Invisible", Rocker is now in command of the newly-retired Mumford's team.
Captain Jessica Cortez
Played by: Stephanie Sigman
- Action Girl: A police captain for the LAPD S.W.A.T. division. She generally acts as the team leaders' commanding officer, she's not afraid to get her hands dirty shown in "Seizures" and "Gasoline Drum".
- Action Girlfriend: Hondo's. They agree to a mutual break-up after they're caught by Commissioner Plank.
- The Captain: Commanding officer of the LAPD Special Operations Bureau and immediate superior to the SWAT teams leaders.
- Mission Control: Generally acts as this whenever the SWAT teams are out in the field.
- Statuesque Stunner: Portrayed by Stephanie Sigman who's 5'9.
- Twofer Token Minority: Cortez lampshades the fact she's an immigrant Latina—so a Threefer Token Minority—as having been a problem getting promoted within the LAPD and puts on her on very shaky ground if her secret relationship with Hondo is ever discovered.
Commander Robert Hicks
Played by: Patrick St. Spirit
- Action Dad: He commands the LAPD Metro SWAT division and has a grown daughter Molly who works as an attorney, and a son John Paul, a gay-rights activists and former drug addict.
- All There in the Manual: Info released by CBS mentions that he knows Deacon the longest and is a widower.
- Ascended Extra: Appears in a recurring capacity for season 1 before being promoted to main character for season 2.
- Badass Bureaucrat: Fills both types. He's still a cop and has to pull his gun while in the field, and he's also an expert in PR and navigating the politics of the job. Exemplified when, following budget and personnel cuts, SWAT has received public recognition and acclaim for rescuing the daughter of a tech billionaire.Hicks: You really think I'd exploit this situation in order to get money and people back? (big-ass grin) You know me too well.
- Benevolent Boss: Despite all his political maneuvering and publicity courting ways, Hicks does care about the cops serving under him, as when Deacon's wife Annie collapses he drops everything to take her to the hospital.
- The Captain: One of the leaders of the SOB.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Deacon.
- The Lost Lenore: His wife Barbara died three years before the start of the series.
- Made Out to Be a Jerkass: The early episodes had Hondo (and the audience) considering Hicks a politician covering for himself by firing Buck after his shooting of a kid. When Hondo calls him on it, however, Hicks fires back that he begged Buck to stay and it was Buck who demanded he be fired to stop the city from exploding in racial tensions. He says that whatever Hondo thinks of him, Hicks cares for this city and the cops first.
- Papa Wolf: Do not try to go and kill a witness in hospital whom Hicks has a thing for and where his daughter is visiting, as a heavily-armed hit team finds out. Also, as Street finds out, don't hit on his daughter.
- Parents as People: Hicks has a strained relationship with his estranged son, and it's said the two have never seen eye to eye. J.P. points out Hicks was a difficult father due to his strict, tough parenting. Hicks admits so to Jessica, because this was how his father raised him.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: For Season 2.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Hicks only promotes Hondo to SWAT leader to quell the optics of the previous leader, Buck Spivey, shooting an unarmed black teenager. Hondo derides the move by saying Hicks "only wants a mascot" and eventually confronts Hicks, who tries to explain that he was backed into a corner and that firing Spivey was actually Spivey's idea
- Similarly in "Contamination", when warning Cortez about the backlash she'll get from fellow cops over her police accountability proposals, she counters that proposing changes is why he promoted her to Captain in the first place.
Played by: Bre Blair
Played by: Sherilyn Fenn
- Falling Into Jail: She is sent back to prison after Street reports to her PO regarding her missing check-ins and under narcotics influence.
Sergeant I Carl Luca
Played by: Michael O'Neill
Daniel Harrelson Sr.
Played by: Obba Babatundé
Played by: DeShae Frost
Los Angeles City Government
Police Commissioner Michael Plank
''Played By: Peter Facinelli
- My Greatest Failure: In "Armory", Plank was going to get married to a girl he met in university when she was killed by a stalker. He wasn't able to help her because the police investigating the incident assumed that it's just someone who has a crush on her and not a Yandere.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Is willing to give Cortez a chance to hear her proposal to reform the LAPD, even if not all the officers would be happy about it.