Detectives Dave Starsky and Ken 'Hutch' Hutchinson, "Starsky and Hutch" (1975-79)
Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser) and Hutch (David Soul) represented a new era of TV. These two partners were not shy about drawing their guns and getting trigger-happy while on the chase. They acted recklessly and dressed sloppily. Hutch kept a cool head, while Starsky teetered on the erratic side. Critics of the series did not appreciate the elevated level of violence.
Sergeant Rick Hunter, "Hunter" (1984-91)
Because he had a habit of engaging in aggressive police chases, Fred Dryer's character was issued the worst cars in the department. Rick Hunter always made sure to get his suspect, whether by lethal force or otherwise.
Detectives James 'Sonny' Crockett & Ricardo 'Rico' Tubbs, "Miami Vice" (1984-90)
Don Johnson played cool-as-ice Crockett, while Philip Michael Thomas was bad-tempered Tubbs. Both men have hard exteriors and soft spots for victims. Both push the boundaries a bit. They eventually lose faith that every drug criminals can be caught, leading them to quit at the end of the series.
Sergeant Andy Sipowicz, "NYPD Blue" (1993-2005)
Dennis Franz played the drunk with a bad temper and racist leanings. Toward the end of the series, Sipowicz distances himself from his prejudice-packed past and embraces his role as a mentor to younger officers.
Detective Elliot Stabler, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999 - )
As a father with anger issues of his own, Stabler (Christopher Meloni) didn't take too kindly to the child molesters he arrested. When one pedophile posted his daughter's photo online, Stabler went to the man's apartment and assaulted him. Stabler left the show when he shot and killed a young girl who opened fire in the squad room.
Detective Raymond Caine, "CSI: Miami" (2002-12)
Played by Dean Winters in one episode and Christopher Stapleton in another, Horatio Caine's dirty cop brother developed a drug addiction while working in the narcotics division. The disgraced officer was forced to fake his own death and become an undercover narcotics investigator.
Detective Vic Mackey, "The Shield" (2002-08)
Michael Chiklis' character Mackey committed many crimes throughout his tenure, but the worst was perhaps murdering Detective Terry Crowley. Crowley was the newest addition who had been sent by the Justice Department to build a case against Mackey's team. Once he'd been informed, Mackey staged Crowley's death to make it appear as if a suspect had gunned the newbie down.
Detective Jimmy McNulty, "The Wire" (2002-08)
Dominic West's character had the best intentions, but the worst methods. Jimmy called a reporter, pretending to be a serial killer to bring attention to a bunch of unrelated murders that were otherwise ignored; he was fired for his efforts.
Sheriff Seth Bullock, "Deadwood" (2004-06)
Since the show's pilot, Timothy Olyphant's Sheriff Bullock skipped the judicial process. Knowing a mob was intent on hunting down his suspect, he hanged the man himself in a twisted version of justice.
Sheriff Andy Bellefleur, "True Blood" (2008-14)
Besides being addicted to vampire blood, Chris Bauer's character simply could not run the town he was tasked with protecting. He doggedly chased innocent people and allowed his drinking problem to get in the way of his work. For the record, he had good intentions.
Prohibition Agent Nelson Van Alden, "Boardwalk Empire" (2010-14)
Michael Shannon's character lived a pious lifestyle until Atlantic City got the best of him. Late in the series, he succumbed to corruption and adopted a "If you can't beat em, join 'em" mentality. He impregnated politician Nucky Thompson's former lover, became a mobster's hit man.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, "Justified" (2010-15)
Timothy Olyphant's trigger-happy lawman nearly compromises a few cases, such as when he gets romantically entangled with a suspect's sister-in-law.
Detective Chief Inspector John Luther, "Luther" (2010 - )
Idris Elba lays Luther, a detective with questionable tendencies. Finding a child killer named Henry Madsen dangling off a ledge in a warehouse after a chase, Luther calmly forces a confession out of Madsen and then allows him to fall to his death.
Detective Darren Wilden, "Pretty Little Liars" (2010 - )
Bryce Johnson played Detective Wilden, who used his status as a law officer to harass the show's four central high schoolers. He even used Hanna Marin's shoplifting charges to coax her mother, Ashley, into a brief romance.
Detective Stephen Holder, "The Killing" (2011-14)
Joel Kinnaman starred as the skeevy detective whose unorthodox tactics matched his disheveled appearance. Viewers learned he also had a drug addiction problem.
Detective Jane Timoney, "Prime Suspect" (2011-12)
Maria Bello starred as Timoney, a new addition to a squad that does not respect her. Her colleagues question how she landed the job -- believing she was transferred because she was involved with the Deputy Chief of Police -- a charge she can't escape. Timoney tended to be rude and reckless, earning her little recognition even when she made arrests.
Squad Commander Hank Voight, "Chicago P.D." (2014 - )
Jason Beghe's character was suspected of unorthodox tactics, but never officially labeled as a dirty cop. Voight always got his man, even if he had to rough him up in the process.
Detective Derek Delaware, "Gotham" (2014 - )
Niko Nicotera's corrupt detective is a target of Good Guy James Gordon in his quest to clean up the Gotham Police Department. Delaware claimed to be part of a "sting operation" -- and was freed by the commissioner.
Detective Rustin Cohle, "True Detective" (2014 - )
In Season 1, Matthew McConaughey played the troubled detective who struggled with a drug addiction. Trigger-happy Cohle compromised a number of active murder investigations, including once when he stole evidence to work his way inside a meth gang. He also slept with his partner's wife.