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Characters / The Wire - Baltimore Police Department

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"Ever wonder what it'd be like to work in a real police department?"
Several characters

Baltimore's Finest, the BPD is Baltimore's first and last line of defense against the hordes of dealers, fiends, and yos who present a grave and terrible threat to the civil society of the good, upstanding citizens of this fair city of neighborhoods. Or at least, that's how they see themselves.

In reality, the BPD is dysfunctional and unwieldy. Decades of political obsession with producing good statistics and the War on Drugs have resulted in a department that is more concerned with massaging arrest figures and which has community relations which can be best described as "abysmal". Of all the institutions critiqued in The Wire, the BPD comes in for the most extensive criticism, as it forms the backbone of the show. Whilst various police officers and units - such as the Homicide Unit, the Daniels-led details and later Major Case Squad - demonstrate great technical competence and integrity, by and large the department is clunking, bureaucratic and brutal. Over the course of the series, various potential reformers step up and are in turn crushed by the inertia of the drug war and the political system.


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The Major Crimes Unit

See the Major Crimes Unit page.

Police Commanders

See the Police Commanders page.


See the Homicide Unit page.

Western District

See the Western District page.


    Randall Friezer
Played by: Erik Todd Dellums

You have to admit that whole Budapest thing was a hell of a pull

A Baltimore police department medical examiner.

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The recurring medical examiner in the first three seasons, he doesn't come back for the final ones, when forensic medical analysis becomes even more relevant than usual as Marlo and Jimmy become serial killers. Nobody misses him.
  • The Coroner: The resident medical examiner of Homicide. Highly competent.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: Seen taking a snack while exposing the cases, the man is not affected by the gruesome things he examines on a daily basis.

    Claude Diggins
Played by: Jeffrey Fugitt

You're deep into somebody's shit, McNulty. I can tell.

McNulty's partner at the Marine Unit.

  • Cool Boat: Shares his fancy own boat with Bunk and McNulty to pose as a fishing craft and monitor Spiros Vondas from the sea.
  • Cool Old Guy: Significantly older than McNulty, Diggins is quite laid back and understanding. Jimmy could have landed much worse with another partner.
  • Mentor: Eases McNulty's transition into a sea boy considerably and tries to teach him the ropes. Not that Jimmy ever makes a decent sailor anyway.

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