Laurence Kirkland

Deputy Chief of Investigations


A skilled bureaucratic infighter, Laurence Kirkland ensures his survival in a difficult post by balancing two sometimes-incompatible forces. His overall performance is judged by the clearance rates of his various detective squads, including the HCIU. Focusing on the goal of higher percentages with a shark-like intensity, he’s never reluctant to chew out his watch commanders when the numbers start to slip. On the other hand, he understands on a visceral level the importance of cultivating personal relationships with the police commissioner and mayor’s office. When they call him to demand quick results, or to press the department to alter its behavior toward an important constituency, he follows through without qualm. When Kirkland takes an interest in a quick clearance — or demands that a case be buried — the detectives hear about it, fast, from their watch commander.

In person, Kirkland maintains a stiff, stern, unapproachable posture. The motor pools and evidence lockers of the city’s police force are full of formerly touted detectives who crossed him, and remain in career purgatory because of it.

Laurence Kirkland

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