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Series / Deputy

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The hero no one saw coming

Deputy is a Police Procedural starring Stephen Dorff that premiered on Fox in 2020.

Bill Hollister is a sergeant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's mounted division who has a reputation as a hard charger with little regard for procedure. When the incumbent sheriff suddenly dies, he finds himself suddenly forced into the role of Acting Sheriff due to a rule in the county charter declaring that the role be taken up by the most senior member of the sheriff's "mounted posse". Suddenly finding himself in a position with real authority, Hollister decides to take advantage of his situation and make some changes in how things are done.

Following the end of the first season, Fox announced that the show was cancelled.

This series provides examples of:

  • Butch Lesbian: Bishop is introduced this way, with a masculine haircut and dress sense.
  • Cowboy Cop: Hollister has a reputation for rushing into action with little care for procedure. He's also a cowboy cop in a literal sense. As a member of the LASD's mounted division, his job was to patrol the rough rural terrain of Los Angeles County on a horse.
  • Expansion Pack Past: In the first episode, Bishop reveals that she used to work at the Pentagon and was a championship rider as a child.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Undersheriff Jerry London firmly believes that he should be sheriff instead of Hollister and is determined to beat him in the election. While he is willing to use some dirty tactics, he is still a police officer and would never do anything to jeopardize people's lives. He is outraged when he finds out that a political ally has been careless with vital police information and four people are dead as a result. He cuts all ties with the ally and threatens to arrest her unless she resigns from the county government immediately.
  • Hidden Depths: Hollister initially comes across as a rough cop who cares mainly about action and arrests. But he is also genuinely concerned about making sure civilians are safe and free from harassment, even tipping people off about immigration raids because he disagrees with indiscriminate blanket deportations.
  • Loose Lips: The District Attorney's office obtains a list of confidential police informants and are careless about keeping its existence secret. The list is stolen and people start to die.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Ward attempts to connect with a kid he's fostering by revealing that he used to be a foster kid himself and how he and his sister used to sleep in shifts to make sure nothing would happen in the middle of the night, just like the kid he's fostering.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: The failure to do this is what kicks off the series. Presumably, if someone had noticed the LASD's line of succession rules have not changed since 1850, they would have amended the charter. Alas, no one did, so it stood that, should the sheriff die in office, his replacement is the longest-serving member of his mounted posse. In 1850 the sheriff's mounted posse would have consisted of his most trusted and senior deputies. In 2020 few deputies even know how to ride a horse and the mounted division is a secondary department with little clout. Hollister has served in the mounted division for so long because he is deeply unpopular with the senior brass and was thus never transferred or promoted to a more prestigious division.
  • Oppressive Immigration Enforcement: Bill Hollister see's ICE in this regard and holds their tactics in utter contempt, seeing this as a flagrant abuse of power and an insult to everything being a Sheriff's deputy stands for, with the first episode involving him facing disciplinary actions for disrupting an ICE coordinated raid using the LA Sherriff's deputies. Upon becoming Sheriff, Hollister makes it clear to the senior ICE official that under his command the Sheriff's office will no longer support them in or participate in raids or mass roundups, only in the arrest of specific fugitives determined through the proper channels, despite Undersheriff Jerry London pointing out this will cost them the massive federal grant the cooperation nets them.
  • Outranking Your Job: Hollister continues dealing with crime as if he were a street cop and not the Sheriff responsible for a department of thousands. However, this is deliberately invoked by Hollister, as he feels, not incorrectly, that one of the biggest issues facing the Sheriffs' Department is the disconnect between the upper-level brass and the boots on the ground.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Hollister carries a six-shooter for day-to-day use. He switches to a semi-automatic if he expects prolonged action.
  • Speak Truth To Power: Bishop continuously pushes back against Hollister's blunt methods and tries to get him to see that he can make the changes he wants if he'd just sit down and take on the sheriff's duties.
  • Unexpected Successor: Bill Hollister becomes acting sheriff as he was the longest serving member of the previous sheriffs mounted posse (interpreted as the LASD's mounted division).