Publication Dates: August 1988 – August 1989
Number of Issues Published: 15 (#1 – #15)
Dimensions: Standard Modern Age U. S.
Paper Stock: Glossy cover; Newsprint interior
Publishing Format: Was Ongoing Series
Information thanks to the Grand Comics Database
COPS (Central Organization of Police Specialists) is an American animated television series released by DIC Entertainment (distributed by Claster Television) and Celebrity Home Entertainment (some VHS tapes went through Golden Book Video, though). This cartoon, which ran from 1988 to 1989, used the tag line: “Fighting crime in a future time, protecting Empire City from Big Boss and his gang of crooks”. In 1993, the series was shown in reruns on CBS Saturday mornings as CyberCOPS, the name change due to the 1989 debut of the unrelated primetime reality show of the same name. The show was based on Hasbro’s 1988 line of action figures called C.O.P.S ‘N’ Crooks.
Brandon “Big Boss” Babel, along with his gang of crooks, is causing crime to run rampant in Empire City; the Empire City Police Department is unable to stop him.
Mayor Davis requests federal assistance. The FBI sends in Special Agent Baldwin P. Vess (Codename: Bulletproof) to help take down Big Boss. However, Vess suffered very serious injuries in a car wreck during a fight with Big Boss’ criminal henchmen and had to be taken to the hospital. Facing years of rehabilitation, Vess is outfitted with a cybernetic bulletproof torso that allows him to walk again.
While staying at the hospital, Bulletproof, knowing he cannot do all of this alone, sends out Empire City police officer P.J. O’Malley (Codename: LongArm) and rookie officer Donny Brooks (Codename: HardTop) to round up the best law enforcers from all over the country. With these men and women — including David E. “Highway” Harlson, Colt “Mace” Howards, Stan “Barricade” Hyde, Tina “Mainframe” Cassidy, Walker “Sundown” Calhoun, Suzie “Mirage” Young, Hugh S. “Bullseye” Forward, and Rex “Bowser” Pointer and his robot dog, Blitz — he forms a team that is “the finest law enforcement agency there is in the country.” Bulletproof becomes the proud founder and commander of COPS. Together, he and his COPS team are able to take down Big Boss and his gang of crooks and thwart the first of many of Big Boss’ criminal schemes.
Each episode has a title that begins with “The Case of…” with a different phrase being added to it (i.e. “The Case of the Iron C.O.P.S. and Wooden CROOKS”; “The Case of the Half-Pint Hero”; and “The Case of the Crime Nobody Heard”) along with the COPS file number. Bulletproof would narrate at the beginning of the episode as well as at the end, concluding by repeating the COPS file number and title, ending it with “Case Closed” with a “Closed” mark being stamped onto the file folder. The two exceptions are the first parts of each of the two-part episodes, “The Case of Big Boss’ Master Plan” and “The Case of C.O.P.S. File #1,” where the conclusion of the episode is marked with a “Case Continued” plastered on the files.
In the cartoon, the COPS frequently shouted, “It’s Crime Fighting Time!” as a battle cry when it was time to bag the CROOKS and solve a caper. Meanwhile, the CROOKS would shout “Crime’s a-wasting!” whenever they went to do another caper, whether it was pulling another heist (as in so many episodes such as “The Case of the Blur Bandits”), giving C.O.P.S. a hard time to the point of replacing (actually disposing) them for good (as in “The Case of the Big Boss’ Master Plan”) or taking captive a certain individual to be held prisoner for ransom (as in “The Case of the Ransomed Rascal”).
The music for the series was created by Shuki Levy, while the COPS theme music was written and composed by Haim Saban.
Numerous characters were featured in the cartoon that did not have action figures (Including Mainframe, Brian O’Malley, Whitney Morgan, Nightshade, Ms. Demeanor, and Mirage).