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Quote1 Son, we are the Gotham City Police Department. What do we do when we come face-to-face with hell on Earth? We get to work. Quote2
James Gordonsrc

The GCPD is the municipal police force of Gotham City.



The GCPD would normally deal with typical cases of murder, robbery rackets and would usually solve them under the guidance of James Gordon, sometimes with unrequired help from the vigilante Batman.

Often, the GCPD found Batman at the crime scene and started investigating him as the principal suspect. However, Batman would always solve the case and bring the real criminals to justice.[1][2][3]

The GCPD was soon baffled by the appearance of new super-criminals like the Joker, Catwoman and Hugo Strange among many others and most times, Batman would stop their plans and capture the villains, much to the GCPD's frustration.[4][5]

As the GCPD's relationship with Batman developed, it became increasingly blurred. Sometimes, Batman was treated as an ally and at other times, a wanted criminal. However, this changed after Batman and Bruce Wayne stood trial and when their names were cleared, Commissioner Gordon named Batman an honorary member of the GCPD. Ever since, Gotham's vigilante worked alongside the police department.[6]

Because of this decision, the GCPD, under Commissioner Gordon's instructions, incorporated a searchlight with a bat-symbol on the rooftop of the GCPD Headquarters and it was known as the Bat-Signal; a way to contact Batman whenever he was needed.[7] The signal was used extensively for a long period of time, until the Mayor of Gotham removed Gordon from his charge. The new Police Commissioner Vane destroyed the Bat-Signal, ending the GCPD connection with Batman. However, when Batman uncovered a large criminal network behind Gordon's demotion, the Mayor reinstated Gordon as Police Commissioner and the Bat-Signal was repaired.[8]


The GCPD consisted of 62 precincts and all operations were directed by Commissioner Gordon.[9] The GCPD often carried on investigations about the regular crimes, but whenever there was a weird crime involving costumed criminals and paranormal situations, they would often rely on Batman to solve them. Commissioner Gordon was the main connection between Batman and the GCPD ,and during Batman's early years as a deputized officer of the law, Gordon would use a personal "Hot-Line" telephone to contact the caped crusader.

However, this method of contacting Batman became obsolete and Gordon stopped using it. Shortly after this change, Batman was framed for murder and Gordon had no choice but to organize the GCPD and try to capture Batman. When the police cornered the outlaw, Batman delivered evidence of his innocence to the police and they allowed Batman to work by their side once again.[10]

Eventually, the Police turned against Batman after all the evidence proved that he murdered Talia[11] and her father Ra's al Ghul.[12] Gordon prepared an arrest warrant against Batman and he became a public enemy for a short time[13] until his name was cleared.[14]

When Hamilton Hill got elected as the new Mayor of Gotham, his first act was to force Commissioner Gordon's resignation, following Rupert Thorne's instructions.[15] Like this, the GCPD's new Police Commissioner was Peter Pauling, the right hand and trusted assistant of Rupert Thorne.[16] Under his command, Pauling commanded an attack on former Commissioner Gordon,[17] outlawed Batman and organized strike forces to bring him down. However, this plan backfired on him and a deranged Rupert Thore murdered Pauling in a fit of paranoia.[18] All corrupt officers were promptly removed and Gordon was reinstated by a reluctant Mayor Hill.[19]

New Earth

The GCPD had long been steeped in corruption with numerous officers, both high-and-low ranking, involved in crimes ranging from bribery to drug-trafficking and murder. The strongest blow against police corruption came when an increasing amount of conspiracy charges against Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb forced him to resign his position. The Falcone crime family, which had had a stranglehold on Gotham's underground for generations, finally crumbled when a series of killings shook the structure of the mafia organization. After the death of Carmine Falcone, the mob lashed out in sloppy, retaliatory crimes, which, in combination with rising gang violence, severely crippled organized crime in Gotham City. Simultaneously, the ebbing presence of corrupt police officers allowed Jim Gordon, a man determined to eradicate crime wherever it existed, to become the new commissioner.

The GCPD is one of the toughest police departments as they have to deal with super-criminals on a regular basis.


 Main article: Batman: Knightfall

During The General's first attack on Gotham, the GCPD's 43rd Precinct was the target of a massive attack and after Batman's intervention, the Major Crimes Unit was able to capture The General and his gang.[20] Shortly after, they had to deal with Killer Croc[21] and not long after that, they tried to get the Arkham breakout under control without success.[22] As a result, they had to start tracking down all of the escapees from the asylum, starting with Film Freak[23] and the serial killer Mr. Zsasz.[24][25] Sarah Essen commanded a strike force to get the situation under control and took all the available officers with her.[26] Later, Commissioner Gordon was informed about Mayor Krol's abduction, and sent the entire SWAT Team inside a funhouse. The situation was a death trap devised by Joker, where 20 officers members of the SWAT Team died.[27][28] Not long after this, the Riddler hijacked a live TV broadcast and threatened the audience and crew with explosives. The GCPD was quick to react and surrounded the stage with snipers, ready to strike. However, Robin captured Riddler and allowed the GCPD to arrest him, taking him to Blackgate.[28] The GCPD was then tasked with the rescue of Mayor Krol from Scarecrow and Joker, but they couldn't reach the Mayor. Instead they allowed Batman to take care of the situation, under Gordon's instructions.[29] They found Krol near the edge of the river, and after making sure he was fine, got him medical attention.[30]

Afterwards, the GCPD started a manhunt for the Joker, who had not yet been captured and was apparently planning to kill Batman. While looking for the criminal, several officers including Bullock and Montoya were lured to a trap, but fortunately there were no casualties.[31] A few moments later, the GCPD under Stan Kitch's command, saved the Joker from being killed by Batman, but because of a request by Mayor Krol, the GCPD turned a blind eye on Batman's harsh methods.[32] Following that instruction, various members of the Tactical Squad allowed Batman to operate during a hostage situation at Mercy Hospital caused by Gunhawk. When the situation was under control, the GCPD could finally enter the building and stopped Batman from brutalizing the criminal.[33]

War Games

 Main article: Batman: War Games

The GCPD has had a long love-hate relationship with the Batman. Commissioner Gordon went along with him because he got the job done, but his successor, Michael Akins wasn't as tolerant. During the gang war that broke out in Gotham, Batman took control of the airwaves in the entire city and recruited the GCPD officers, giving them orders to get the situation under control.[34] The GCPD followed Batman's instructions but his plan failed due to Black Mask's intervention, causing several members of the police force to be injured and killed. Commissioner Akins gave instructions to eliminate every criminal and vigilante on the streets using deadly force[35] and one of the first vigilantes to be attacked by the police was Tarantula.[36] Some members of the police cornered Tarantula and her gang in an abandoned building and attacked her with all their strength. Wanting results, Commissioner Akins sent the entire police department to capture her.[37] However, Batman rescued Tarantula and her gang and left the GCPD empty handed.[38] Akins gave the order to arrest every vigilante on the streets, but the officers present at the Gotham Clock Tower during the final battle, made a truce with the vigilantes and allowed them to eliminate the menace of Scarebeast.[39] Commissioner Akins ordered Batman's arrest and had the Bat-signal removed from the roof of Police Headquarters. Corruption and rot within the police department also rose during Akins' tenure as Commissioner.

One Year Later

 Main article: One Year Later

Jim Gordon was reinstated as Commissioner, with Harvey Bullock back on the force. Harvey came back on disciplinary probation after helping expose a criminal drug ring. Relations with Batman, including the Bat-Signal, were established once more. Following revelations of massive corruption within the department, there has been a drastic cleaning-of-house, including Commissioner Akins.

During Gordon's second period as Commissioner, the GCPD were sent on a wild goose chase to capture Two-Face, to no avail. However the true criminals were delivered hours later to the police by Nightwing.[40]

Battle for the Cowl

 Main article: Batman: Battle for the Cowl

Shortly after Batman's death, the GCPD were overwhelmed by a rising wave of criminals wanting to take control of the city on Batman's absence. The people of Gotham organized a strike outside the GCPD HQ, demanding Commissioner Gordon's resignation due to the lack of results.[41] Bullock and a small group of officers investigated the murder of an undercover police officer.[42]

The GCPD was then tasked with capturing the several Arkham inmates who were freed by Black Mask. They learned the location of Mister Freeze and went to the place to apprehend the criminal. They failed and it was Gordon who, hours later, defeated and captured the villain.[43] The GCPD tried to regain control of the city after half of Gotham was attacked, but their efforts weren't enough and the law was taken by the United States Army.[44]

A short time later, the GCPD placed reporter Vicki Vale on a special protection program because her latest investigations caused the criminal underworld of Gotham to focus their attention on her. The place where they were hidden was discovered and attacked by a couple of Penguin's henchmen. In the struggle that ensued, four officers were murdered and corruption within the department became evident once again.[45]

Prime Earth

Justice League Vol 2 1 Textless
The New 52
The DC Universe heavily changed its continuity into the DCnU following the events of Flashpoint in 2011. This was part of an effort to make storylines more accessible to newer readers, beginning with the New 52. This new timeline combines elements from the DCU, Vertigo Universe and Wildstorm Universe while drastically changing the origins and histories of characters.

The GCPD originally had an antagonistic relationship with Batman. For a time, officers were ordered to shoot on sight if they ever saw him. After the formation of the Justice League, however, Batman was tolerated by the police and no longer deemed a threat by City Hall.[46]

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Other Versions


The GCPD, under the leadership of Commissioner Gordon, were proficient in raids and tactical activities. The department organized raids to capture Man-Bat,[47] a faction of Thorne's gang,[48] and Jazzman.[49]

Following James Gordon's retirement from the GCPD, his daughter Barbara become the new Commissioner. The GCPD itself was eventually moved to a more modern building and became part of the historical district which Bruce Wayne in later years worked to protect from demolition by the CEO of Wayne-Powers, Derek Powers. The building was however demolished by Shriek in an attempted assassination of Bruce Wayne.

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  • The Gotham City Police Department has over thirty thousand officers on its payroll at any given moment, with several thousands more in support roles.[50]

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