The Closer's Will Pope is based on this real LAPD police officer

By: Start TV Staff     Posted: March 15, 2019, 2:50PM

On The Closer, Will Pope serves as Assistant Police Chief for the Los Angeles Police Department, rising to Chief through surprising circumstances. Portrayed by acclaimed actor J.K. Simmons, he's a mesmerizing personality in some of The Closer's tensest scenes, but what some fans may not realize is this total character is actually based on a real police officer who served the LAPD for many years.

Earl Paysinger was once described as a "rising departmental star" as the Deputy Chief in 2004. Since then he's gone on to serve as Vice President of Civic Engagement at the University of South Carolina, but back in 2004, his dedication to reducing crime in his community as an officer on the force reflected in the intensity of quotes he gave the City Journal that year:

On using search warrants to prevent crime: "Even if you find nothing, as you search, you may see a parolee at large, or someone who wants to be a witness, or other weapons in plain sight. You’re telling the crook: ‘I will always be there watching.’"

On police supervisors who can't be trusted: “If you can’t trust an unbiased supervisor to put two cops in his car and tell them not to talk to each other, we need to find other supervisors.”

On the importance of putting police on shooting scenes: “If we don’t have a greater awareness of the most violent of crimes, as purveyors of the peace we’re done.”

Paysinger clearly had opinions on the way things should be done, something Pope would likely identify with on The Closer. In Paysinger's career, his USC bio notes, the distinction with which the officer served over four decades on the LAPD led to stronger relationships with the community and a reduction in violent crimes. He also dedicated time to youth outreach, enhancing the LAPD Cadet Leadership program, as well as programs aimed at eradicating homelessness.

On Start TV, we celebrate heroes in the real world like Paysinger every day with My Start Story. These features highlight how people in the real world go from the moment their careers start to the success they've found today. Check out My Start Story here.

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