The police (also referred to as cops, pigs, babylon by Rastafarians, or heat) are uniformed officers responsible for enforcing the law. They ensure public and social order, through the legitimized and restricted use of force. The Police are present in all Grand Theft Auto games.
The main role of the Police in-game is to make crime difficult for the player - and to provide a reliable enemy and a challenge both in and out of missions. This theme is present throughout the entire series, although the exact details vary between games.
The Police, (and all other forms of law enforcement in the Grand Theft Auto series), have been protrayed as corrupt, lazy, reckless drivers, stupid, selfish, incompetent, and trigger-happy, although the levels of these vary greatly between each game.
The Police work upon a Wanted Level system against the player. If the player is noticed performing a crime, he may gain a Wanted Star (increasing his wanted level). More serious crimes will grant a higher wanted level. Police responses vary depending on the wanted level, ranging from foot chases to calling in the helicopter, FBI or even the Army.
Relevant offenses include crashing into a police car, shooting pedestrians, having sex with prostitutes in GTA San Andreas, stealing vehicles, entering prohibited areas or occasionally unavoidable participation in certain missions (ex. bank heists). The police will not arrest you for trespassing on private property, traffic offenses (ex. speeding, running red lights), carrying weapons in public, damaging property, impersonation (ex. wearing police uniform). See a comprehensive list of arrestable offenses below.
If the player gets arrested by the police (or "Busted"), the player will respawn at the nearest Police Station, but lose some money and all of his weapons except in GTA Sanadreas if after the CJ starts dating Barbara as she is a cop. Higher levels of law enforcement are not concerned with arrest, but with killing the player. Death is only temporary, and results in being returned to a nearby hospital with the loss of weapons and some money. (No weapons are lost in GTA IV)
Wanted levels can be reduced by the use of a Pay 'n' Spray. The Wanted Level in GTA IV system allows the player to evade a wanted level by escaping from a certain radius, based on the last place they were spotted. The higher the wanted level, the larger the area.
In the GTA III Era, at 4-star wanted levels, heavily armed, highly trained police officers will come after the protagonist and try killing or sometime arresting him. They all drive Enforcer trucks and are armed with weapons that will make short work of the player. Their Enforcers are fast and can smash up a vehicle in a small amount of time. Their trucks also form roadblocks. In GTA III, the have Micro UZis, Uzis in Vice City, Mac-11's in San Andreas, and Uzis in Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories. SWAT teams are a real threat to the player and come in 4 men per team. Also, in Vice City and Vice City Stories, undercover "Vice Squad" officers armed with Uzis in Cheetahs will chase the player at 3 stars and above. Their cars are fast, and they come two per unit.
In GTA IV, the police in multiplayer mode will not arrest the player, but will shoot at the player in an attempt to kill them, though they can still pull the player out of a car. At 4 stars the police send in an Annihilator with two NOOSE agents with assault rifles firing from the sides of the chopper. The police will arrive in cars containing two police officers. One will carry a Pistol while the other will (usually) carry a Pump Action Shotgun, regardless of what guns are allowed in the online game. NOOSE agents arrive in NOOSE Enforcers only, as the NOOSE Cruiser, the NOOSE Patriot, and the FIB Buffalo only appear in Race and GTA Race multiplayer modes, albeit they are only used by the players. NOOSE agents are equipped mainly with Carbine Rifles and SMGs, but sometimes they have a Pump Shotgun and NOOSE agents will sometimes fall back to their pistol if they lose their weapon. The FIB does not appear in multiplayer at all, and the Police Maverick also only appears in the Race and GTA Race modes. It is notable that Wanted Levels are usually cumulative if multiple players are riding in the same vehicle. When faced with multiple players with wanted levels, the police usually target the nearest player. The player can still use a Pay N Spray in multiplayer, though the same rules using them when police are nearby in single player apply to multiplayer as well. If the player is shot in a Deathmatch, it will count as a death on purpose and will lose $100.
- Police Category - main category for the police
- Wanted Level
- Police Officers - Notable police officers from the GTA series
- Police Officers - The different appearances of police officers throughout the series
- Police Car - the "Police" vehicle
- Police Departments - list of police departments
- Emergency Services - list of emergency services (Police, Ambulance, Fire etc)
- Emergency Vehicles - list of emergency vehicles