Tele-Tuesday: TV’s Female Cops We Love to Love

Last week, we joined three other writers to share TV’s top 10 men with (and without) badges that we love to love.  In order for Tele-Tuesday to not appear sexist, we’re including a few of television’s strong and beautiful female cops we love to love today.

Sadly, most female character roles are not written as well as their male counterparts.  It’s actually quite predictable to determine which of the typical attributes the female stars on TV programs will have today: will they be weak and dependant on a man; or damaged beyond repair; or haunted by their past to the point of repetitiveness; or flat-out boring?

There are, however, a few female protagonists written today that could quite honestly kick their male co-star’s rears.  Perhaps not because they are insanely muscular like the women of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment for those that don’t follow Raw), but because these ladies have an inner strength that makes them as enticing as any male star; these women have the intelligence and drive to support themselves in what is sadly a man’s world on TV, and we love them for it.

Oh, and did we mention they are beautiful too?

Brenda Leigh Johnson – The Closer


Brenda Leigh is a southern belle from Atlanta running the all-male major crime squad in Los Angeles.  At the beginning, one may have wondered exactly how she landed the job as Deputy Chief (having had an affair with her boss and all), but she has proven herself in case after case after case.

No one can convince a criminal to confess the way that Brenda Leigh can, and she is about as polite as a she can be at the same time with her catch phrase, “Thank you, thank you very much.”  We can always tell when Brenda Leigh is having a bad day or stressing out over the case when she opens her desk drawer full of chocolate.  Who can relate, ladies?

Jane Rizzoli – Rizzoli & Isles

Detective Jane Rizzoli is about as tough as they come, even with her scarred hands as a reminder that she has come close to death on numerous occasions from the maniacs she chases around Boston.  She hails from a working class family where she picked up just as many tricks of the trade as her younger brothers.

Despite her absolutely stunning good looks, Jane is quite the tomboy; she loves to play baseball, field hockey, or any other sport with a ball.  Of course, these physical activities have to attribute to her long and lean body, one that all women wish they had (and men too, ha-ha).

Calleigh Duquesne – CSI: Miami

Another southern belle, with a to-die-for accent, Calleigh Duquesne is a brilliant criminologist working with other Crime Scene Investigators for the Miami-Dade Police Department.  She is an expert in ballistics and she speaks fluent Spanish (a bonus for law enforcement in Miami).

Calleigh has escaped death numerous times; she has been stalked by a serial killer, she almost perished in a fire in the lab and another fire at a crime scene, and she nearly drowned when her Hummer was forced off the dirt roads in the Glades and into the swamps.  Regardless of her day’s work, she always manages to smile – and capture the bad guy.

Jackie Curatola – Blue Bloods

Partnered with the Police Chief’s son, Detective Jackie Curatola is assigned most of the major cases for the great city of New York.  Not only does she and her partner investigate the biggest cases of the squadron, they also manage to capture the bad guys under constant scrutiny from those that oppose the Police Chief.

Jackie left home when she was just a teenager and she has been on her own ever since.  She made a few bad decisions in life (drugs, bad boys, etc), but she turned things around and put herself through school.  Jackie has the looks of a classic beauty, and she has used this to her advantage to work undercover as a high-priced call girl where she arrested a team of serial killers despite having been drugged herself.  Jackie holds her own…

Juliete O’Hara – Psych

Juliete O’Hara has proven herself to be more than a pretty face.  Partnered with the head detective for the Santa Barbara Police department, Juliete has fought her way through the frustrations of her coworkers not believing her to be the best suited for the position.  She faced similar scrutiny while also working as a rookie in Miami.

No one can believe that this petite, blonde girl can take on the bad guys roaming the streets.  But she can; between her con-man father and her military trained brother, Juliet isn’t as fragile as she appears.  With her aviator glasses and tailored suits, Juliete is one sharp-looking, yet tough, police officer.

Many other female TV cops deserved to make this list, including Jennifer “JJ” Jareau and Emily Prentiss from Criminal Minds, Annie Walker from Covert Affairs, and Kensi Blye from NCIS: LA….

What do you think?  Are you a fan of these ladies?  Which of TV’s female cops do you love to love – past or present?  We’d love to hear from you! 

Come back next week when we include a few of the female criminals we love to love….

18 Replies to “Tele-Tuesday: TV’s Female Cops We Love to Love”

  1. Two of my favorites listed here in Brenda and Jane (and even better that they come back to back on Monday nights). One thing I love about The Closer is how, in the early episodes, the writers made Brenda fight for the respect and loyalty of her squad largely because she was an outsider rather than because she was a woman.

  2. Jane Rizzoli and Calleigh Duquesne! Two very awesome cops. Of course, I’m also jealous because they’re beautiful. LOL

    On a side note…I had a lot of trouble with Rizzoli and Isles when it first came on because I had read so many of the books, and the characters aren’t the same, especially Dr. Isles. In the books, Isles wasn’t as goofy as she is in the show. So I have to kind of pretend that they have nothing to do with the books I read, like it’s a totally different set of characters.

  3. I LOVE The Closer, Rizzoli &Isles, and Psych, and all three of those ladies are completely awesome in my book. You are, however, missing Mary Shannon from In Plain Sight, which is one of my all time favorites. Although… she is a U.S. Marshal instead of a police officer, so maybe that’s why you didn’t include her…?

  4. I’m with Lauralynn – I love Rizzoli and Calleigh… 🙂 My dentist once told me I look like Angie Harmon, so I kinda was like, Hmmm.. I should check out the show.
    And while I am normally jealous of beautiful blonde chics with southern accents, Calleigh is so lovable, I can’t hate her (no matter how hard I try!). She is sharp and takes no bull.

  5. I only know Calleigh from CSI:Miami, so I can’t really say about the others, but if they are tough, can kick butt, and aren’t haunted by their past, then I’m all for them.

    As for Beckett (answering Ambrr above), I would say she didn’t make the list because she’s too damaged by her mother’s murder which keeps her at arms length. That includes the audience as well as her fellow cops and Castle. Yes?

  6. TV in general is rather repetitive – all male characters are either – the playboy every woman wants, haunted by their past, or the dare devil – yawn

    Prime Suspect’s Jane Timoney is a good one too (or Janie as I like to call her when rooting for her) – and I vote yes on Blue Bloods, Rizzoli and Closer

  7. I love Juliete on Psych. But then you knew that! I just love Psych, period.

    I also like Kate Beckett, perhaps because her personality has a history. Okay, yeah, it’s a bit predictable. But I get it. Who doesn’t understand her desire to kick some butt after all of that? Plus, you can see why she can’t just give in to Castle: She knows that involves tearing down the emotional wall.

    Still…must see The Closer.

  8. As much as I love Kyra Sedgwick as Brenda Leigh Johnson and Angie Harmon as Jane Rizzoli, I think Jennifer Esposito as Jackie Curatola may be the most beautiful woman on television. Love all three of these shows.

  9. Great list and line-up. Love the featuring of female leads. I always loved Calleigh from CSI:Miami’s acting and I’ve heard amazing things about The Closer. Great to see woman in strong roles!

  10. Great list of female cops, but you forgot Mariska Hargitay! She’s amazing on SVU and plays a character that sees the worst of people. Jackie C. from Blue Bloods is great as well, and Kyra Sedgewick is fantastic.

  11. Ugh, The Closer. I can’t stand to even watch the commercials. I would confess to any crime just to get that woman to stop talking to me!
    I love Jane Rizzoli and Calliegh from CSI, but I agree with Amber that Kate Beckett is my favorite female cop. She isn’t damaged any more than Jane Rizzoli. Her mom was murdered, so that gives her motivation for catching other criminals. Makes sense. Plus, she could totally kick all the guys butts and they all know it. Javi didn’t make the male list either, and he’s one of my favorites.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: