The police computer is an interactive computer found on board most law enforcement vehicles in Grand Theft Auto IV, two episodes, and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars that provides access to Vigilante-like side-missions and a small criminal database.
When the player is stationary in any police vehicle they can access the police computer by pressing the L1 button (PlayStation 3), the LB button (Xbox 360), or the E key (PC), allowing the player to search through a small database of criminals in Liberty City or call for backup. Only in GTA IV can the player search and hunt down most wanted criminals, and monitor and respond to recent crimes in the area through the police computer.
In GTA Chinatown Wars, the police computer's functionality is limited to only allowing the player to respond to crime on the island the player is in.
Although the police computer is assumed to be standard on all road-based law enforcement vehicles (except bikes), this is not the case as certain models do not come equipped with it; a significant number of law enforcement vehicles in GTA IV may also lack an actual police computer in their interior despite allowing the player to access one.
The following is a list comparing police computer access on all law enforcement vehicles since GTA IV:
|Vehicle||Introduced in||Police computer model in interior||Access to police computer|
|Police Cruiser||GTA IV||✔||✔|
|Police Patrol||GTA IV||✔||✔|
|Police Stockade||GTA IV||✘||✔|
|NOOSE Cruiser||GTA IV||✘||✔|
|NOOSE Patriot||GTA IV||✘||✔|
|FIB Buffalo||GTA IV||✘||✔|
|Police Cruiser (Buffalo)||TBOGT||✘||✘|
|Police Cruiser (wreck)||TBOGT||✔||✘|
|Police Patrol||GTA Chinatown Wars||n/a||✔|
|NOOSE Enforcer||GTA Chinatown Wars||n/a||✔|
|FIB Rancher||GTA Chinatown Wars||n/a||✔|
The main menu (GTA IV).
The current crimes sub-menu (GTA IV), which allows the player to go on vigilante activities, responding on ongoing criminal activities.
The keypad used to search police records by name (GTA IV). In the PC version, the player can simply key in a name using their keyboard.
A police record displayed after searching police records (GTA IV). The record will mark the mugshot with "DECEASED" if the individual is dead.
The most wanted sub-menu (GTA IV), which lists specific wanted criminals that the player can target. Records with red text denote the individual is deceased.
The police computer interface in GTA Chinatown Wars, which only allows the player to respond to random crimes.