The rookies are:
- Ray "Lazarus" Harper (Adam Goldberg): A newspaper reporter laid off due to budget cuts, who apparently had to threaten to sue the department to be allowed into police academy. He is partnered with...
- Tonya Sanchez (Judy Marte): An officer from a family with a criminal history.
- Ahmad Kahn (Tom Reed): An Afghan immigrant who fought his way to freedom and has a serious chip on his shoulder because of it. Partnered with...
- Kenny McClaren (Stark Sands): His family's been wearing blue since before he was born.
- Jennifer "White House" Perry (Leelee Sobieski): A former Marine. Partnered with...
- Jayson "Jackpot" Toney (Harold House Moore): A former NBA player who apparently squandered his career.
The precinct's senior officers:
- Sergeant Daniel "Yoda" Dean (Terry Kinney): The rookies' Field Training Officer, a veteran cop and Reasonable Authority Figure.
The series provides examples of the following tropes:
- The Alcoholic: Harper "was drunk for a year" following being laid off, then got his act together.
- Or not. He still drinks too much, and Yoda's told him to find a group.
- Bald of Awesome: Yoda.
- Cunning Linguist: Kahn speaks English and at least one Middle Eastern tongue, and once yells at a Middle Eastern taxi driver in his native language while he and McClaren are breaking up a fight between him and another motorist. Cut to Kahn very politely telling him in English to be a little careful and to let the other driver leave first.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Ahmad seems to have one. He's from Afganistan, and his back is covered is scars, possibly from a whipping. "Don't ask".
- In-Series Nickname:
- Their Field Training Officer, Sgt. Daniel Dean, really dislikes being called "Yoda".
- Ray Harper's called "Lazarus" because he's easily a dozen-plus years older than his fellow rookies.
- Toney calls Perry "White House" because she was White House color guard after coming home from Iraq. Toney himself had the nickname "Jackpot" during his abortive NBA career.
- One Steve Limit: Aversion played for laughs in the pilot. Sanchez has trouble finding her locker because there's at least two other Officer Sanchezes in the 22.
- Open Heart Dentistry: Discussed. When searching for a wounded gunman, Harper and McClaren look for him at various non-hospital medical facilities. McClaren notes that in the movies, it's always a veterinarian. The shooter turns up at a tattoo parlor.
- New Meat: Police Variant, The Series.
- Real Song Theme Tune: "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)" by Jay-Z.
- Semper Fi: Perry served as a Marine MP in Iraq, then as White House color guard (hence the nickname).
- Sergeant Rock: Daniel Dean, their Field Training Officer.