Three new officers in a large metropolitan police department adjust to their new jobs and way of life.
In the introductory episode of the series, the presence of several street gangs contributes to a tension-filled atmosphere. The Rookies are assigned with the challenge of maintaining order amongst the rivaling street gangs, with Willie Gillis arising as the mediator between the gangs.
The internal affairs workers at the station are getting word of police shakedowns. They order an investigation to take place, with Lieutenant Ryker's rookies, Danko, Webster, and Gillis, under suspicion as suspects.
Terry and Willie, while doing routine spot checks, uncover a petty thief involved in a larger fur scandal. He agrees to give information against the two criminals who orchestrated the plan. However, due to a technicality, their trial is dismissed and they set their eyes on revenge. After several attempts to drag him back into their world of crime, Webster puts an end to the two felons criminal actions.
Willie, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, is struck by a bullet in the leg by a criminal wearing a monster mask. He is left paralyzed temporarily. Further investigation reveals a criminal's passion for horror films. As the case becomes more complex, Terry and Danko track the small-time crooks down to an auction, where they foolishly try to escape the law.
Terry and Willie become involved with Brother Toby, a former drug addict now turned evangelist. They admire his mission to help other junkies become sober. He is framed by the father of one of his followers, because of the father's disagreement with Toby's religious beliefs. He is put in the situation where it appears that he violates his parole by selling drugs. Willie and Terry have the harrowing task of proving Toby innocent, in which they ultimately succeed.
A man disguised as a police officer kidnaps the daughter of a wealthy family, the Sloans. The Police Squad are quick to react to the kidnapping. Meanwhile, the kidnapper writes a ransom note demanding two hundred thousand dollars, only for the Sloans' maid to steal it and concoct her own fake note in an effort to get the money instead. Her devious plot is uncovered and the police get back on track with the real note. Danko, Webster and Gillis notice that Ryker appears to be distracted. A fainting spell places him in the hospital, where he confides in Jill that the kidnapped girl may in fact be his biological daughter. A phone call from the kidnapper cues the officers into searching areas around the airport. Finally, the officers discover the kidnapper along with the girl in a power plant, with Ryker leading the way. After an active shoot-out, the kidnapper is brought to justice as Ryker rescues the girl. Later, Ryker visits her in the hospital, never revealing his paternal relation to
Responding to a robbery complaint, Webster and Gillis arrive at the building and enter into a criminal-chase. Thinking he is being fired at, Gillis returns gunshots. He strikes one of the criminals, David Palmer, only to find out that the teen is unarmed and now gravely injured. Gillis is overcome with guilt. An inquest is scheduled until the teen dies on the operating table. Gillis, on mandatory leave from the Police Squad, attends David Palmer's funeral, observing from a distance. Later that evening, Gillis receives the first of several anonymous phone calls informing him that he did not kill David Palmer; the Squad, consequently, begins further investigation. In reenacting the crime they discover that a third bullet was fired (from the gun of one of the escaped teens), which caused the fatal wound of David Palmer. The two other criminals are caught searching for the third bullet, and it is Gillis who convinces them to surrender, thereby restoring his honor.
Assigned with the task of protecting a valuable witness, Danko and the Officers must exercise caution regarding visitors to the prison. When a professional killer disguises himself as a professor seeing to interview Sol (the witness), Danko denies him the opportunity. Nevertheless, Danko does agree to help the 'professor' by accompanying him to an aircraft hanger where he claims he is meeting a friend. At the hanger, the killer reveals his true intention: to force Danko to wear deadly explosives while he holds the trigger, forcing the Police Force to negotiate Sol. Both Sol and the police refuse to compromise until a visit from Jill ultimately convinces Sol to help out. The Squad devises a plan that appears favorable to the killer but actually leads to his murder and Danko's safe release.
After a third woman is murdered the Police Squad take action. In order to solve the mysterious murders and prevent future ones, the Squad welcomes two women officers to the force, Dawson and Conway. A plan is created which places Dawson and Conway in an apartment complex together, with Webster and Gillis across the hall. Dawson is assigned with taking out a personal ad as the murdered women had all done. Later, when leaving a party, Dawson is murdered. Despite the devastating loss, the plan continues with Conway as the new target. This particularly disturbs Webster because of his growing affection for her. Consequently, he leaves the case. However, Webster saves the day by stopping the criminal from his last attempted murder and rescuing Conway, who is captured by the murderer.
In an effort to prove he's no 'old man', Officer Danko chases down a fleeing criminal. While he succeeds in apprehending the thief, his partners Webster and Gillis fail to catch the criminal's brother, who is also running from the law. Danko testifies in court against the criminal he caught, thereby infuriating the brother who is unassumingly observing in the courtroom. Consequently, he begins to terrorize Danko's wife, Jill, with mysterious phone calls. Not wanting to upset her husband, Jill confides in his co-officers. When Danko finds out, he is confronted with the issue of whether or not to change his testimony in court, to appease the terrorizing felon and save he and his wife. What follows includes a climactic car-chase ending with the inevitable arrest of the second criminal.
The rookies are given the task of protecting a controversial Army General who has recently returned to the country after serving in Vietnam. The rookies must deal with mob control, as well as actively track down a sniper who hits the General. The rookies most valuable clue is an old army rifle, used in the General's shooting, whose owner the rookies must uncover.
The police squadron has a new terror on their hands: two snipers who are shooting indiscriminately at anyone who is dressed in a uniform. Terry Webster, who unfortunately loses his eyesight, is their most recent target.
Easy Wyatt is a cop with many years behind him on the force. His ranch has recently been the target of destruction in a new plan to build a freeway. Wyatt is becoming mentally unstable, and his instability is slowly spiraling deeper and deeper. Once the best officer in the squad, Wyatt's shaky state is evident when he attempts to prevent the bulldozers from digging by holding them at gunpoint.
The rookies are on the hunt for a runaway girl. Their strongest clue to solving the case is a tattooed foot. However, the rookies are missing a vital piece of information: the man that claims to be the girl's father is actually the one who is out to murder her, and is the cause for her self-imposed disappearance.
Gillis enters a tough situation when he is presented with a boy who is trapped in a police car which is on fire. He chooses to shoot the boy, promptly catching the internal affairs division's attention. They launch an investigation into the event and Gillis to see if he has committed a mercy killing, and to try to get closure in the case.
In their off duty time, the rookies become involved in a camp for deviant, delinquent children and adolescents. Because of their involvement, the community's view regarding them, and the police force as a whole, is at risk.
A junkie addicted to dope sets his eye on swiping 82 million dollars worth of cocaine which has been confiscated. He will soon find that his plan is confronted with complications: the police have tagged the drugs for disposal in the ocean.
An old friend of Terry Webster's unleashes an attack on a patrol car officer. Webster investigates further to try and discover the logic behind the seemingly nonsensical incident.
A daring plan is crafted by a convict's wife to release a prisoner from incarceration: an innocent and helpless police officer, who is undergoing surgery, is taken hostage. The rest of the medical staff in the operating room is also put at risk, including Jill Danko, Mike Danko's wife.
An extremely ill young boy is desperately waiting for a suitable bone marrow donor; without a bone marrow transplant, he will die shortly. However, the biggest obstacle is that the boy's father, who has compatible marrow and is the only possible donor, is currently on the run. He is trying to evade the police as well as the syndicate.
The rookies try to disengage a robbery network by leaving the undesirable city slums and working in the suburbs. They discover that the main suspect is a dear, old friend of Lieutenant Ryker's. The man is also a special security guard of the community.
The rookies are presented with a ""difficult"" court case. While the case is essentially an open and shut, obvious manslaughter conviction, trouble arises: the most important element in the conviction, the only witness, is discovered to suffer from mental retardation.
The rookies may be confronted with a problem worse than the nurse who holds a grudge against all police officers: they discover that her younger brother is associating with thugs who are the organizers of a current neighborhood protection scandal.
Willie and Terry are kidnapped by a disturbed criminal who is dying. The criminal leaves the two rookies in the desert, abandoned, with no food source and little hope of being rescued. Willie, in this situation, struggles to saves Terry's life.
While performing their routine patrol, Gillis and Danko unexpectedly stumble upon a robbery that is taking place. They radio for additional support and a veteran police team arrive at the crime scene. One of the veteran policeman is killed in the midst of the robbery, and his partner places fault on Danko. The veteran policeman makes the suggestion that Danko be appointed to ride with him, a suggestion that turns out to have almost catastrophic results.
Webster is asked to play the role of a prisoner at the State Prison. He disguises himself as an inmate, in an effort to aid the issue of prison reform. However, when the other prisoners discover that Webster is merely pretending to be a fellow inmate, pandemonium results.
Juvenile detail is typically known to be a relatively easy tour. However, this is not the case for Willie. While on juvenile detail, Willie discovers that he is not as emotionally strong as he once thought. He is presented with pain and death, in amounts that are greater than he can manage.
Jill, Danko's wife, is assigned to protect Lieutenant Ryker after he is wounded by a former prisoner who desires to take revenge. However, Ryker decides to take charge of the situation when Jill's life is at stake.
A lonely lady who resides by the beach places a call into the police station for aid. Willie and Terry ignore this routine call, only to find out that the call was legitimate and the woman has been robbed and beaten. The rookies are then thrown into a peculiar series of robberies.
Jill Danko is seriously wounded by a seemingly demented gunman while dining with her husband Mike. Later, they find out that the gunman is unable to be prosecuted in court, because he is suffering from a brain tumor which appears to be the cause of his action. The rookies take it upon themselves to prove the man is dangerous and can place society in jeopardy.
Like many Vietnam veterans returning home after the war, Jimmy Webster is angry at society for treating him as if he was an outsider, and not openly accepting him. He is unable to find employment and is left with an important decision to make: either he can fall back on his cousin, Terry Webster, and turn to him for support, or he can join a robbery operation and make a large amount of money.
A young nurse suffers a terrifying ordeal when she is raped in the underground garage of Memorial Hospital. The rookies attempt to help the woman by offering support. They offer encouragement and assistance as the woman proceeds through the legal formalities which often are unsympathetic to the rape victim, and sometimes humiliate her.
Lieutenant Ryker is selected to be personally in charge of an important investigation. A priest is murdered and a nun is badly beaten in a destitute neighborhood, and the community worries that religious restlessness with arise. As the investigation progresses, the rookies uncover a completely different motive.
A telethon featuring an extremely famous country western singer requests of the police department extra protection. The rookies are assigned to the event. Their placement on this assignment results in their protecting the singer from a couple of bitter and unforgiving country folk from Tennessee. The hillbillies hold the singer responsible for the death of their sister, who died while she was giving birth.
Jill is confronted by her past when a former lover of hers appears at her home. Mike is currently out of town. The unanticipated visitor gives the impression that he is fatally ill, thereby luring Jill into becoming involved with him, despite her uncertainty. Only after a period of time does Jill realize the great lengths this former lover will go to try to get her back and claim her as his own.
One of Willie's young female friends is desperately afraid when she discovers that she is afflicted with diabetes. After she makes the realization, the young woman flees to a drug rehabilitation center. She desires to be around the other young people whom she trusts. However, she neglects to bring her insulin.
Willie Gillis is assigned to ride with an older officer and, while on patrol, the man is killed. When the murderer is captured, the other policemen are inclined to take the law into their own hands. Falsely accused of incompetence, Willie is forced to search his soul to arrive at justice.
A college girl from Jamaica witnesses the murder of a notorious drug pusher and Terry Webster is assigned to get her testimony in the days that follow, they fall in love, but the girl is tracked down by the murderer and killed. Terry uses himself as a decoy to trap the killers.
Mike and Jill Danko's marriage is strained by Mike's protective interest in the widow of a man Mike was forced to kill in the line of duty.
The rookies must contend with 'The Teacher' an ex-convict who masterminds several well executed robberies using the young boys who are in the city looking for excitement.
A young man with a Jekyll - Hyde personality becomes a puzzle for Terry and Willie when he gives them a description of a suspected cop-killer. But for Mike and Ryker he poses a different problem: extreme danger.
An old friend of Ryker's, once a good policeman and now a pathetic drunk, is framed for the murder of a gangster who has terrorized the neighborhood. To gain favor from his daughter and neighbors, he pleads guilty, but Lt. Ryker, with the help of the rookies, finds a better way to give the man back his dignity.
The Ludlow precinct institutes a Police Cadet Program. One of the boys involved becomes overzealous and is kidnapped, along with Terry, by his sister's boyfriend who is a fugitive.
A brilliant young felon holds Terry and three women, one of whom is pregnant, hostage in a bank vault in order to free his partner from jail.
Two ex-convicts are loose in the city carrying contagious meningitis. After Willie is exposed to it when he gives the ex-convict mouth - to â€“ mouth resuscitation, the other rookies are given the task of finding the men and stopping a possible epidemic.
Terry Webster breaks in his new partner, junior rookie Chris Owens, searching for an arsonist. Someone is responsible for the murder of several firemen, all young, dark-haired and moustached.
The murder of a construction company owner is witnessed by a woman and her married boyfriend, a doctor. Because of the possibility of a scandal, the doctor will not allow the girl to give information to the rookies. They do not know that the killers are now after the witnesses.
Chris is partnered with a patrolman who gets involved in suicidal situations so that he might be killed in the line of duty and his family would be secure with financial compensation.
Four young people out for excitement in a stolen pickup become fugitives from the law when their fun turns into murder and robbery. Rookie Chris Owens is on the case after his partner is killed, but Chris wonders whether the dangers of police life are worth it.
Two law students, seeking revenge for the death of a girl, frame Terry Webster, whom they hold responsible for the murder of a store guard.
The son and daughter of a man who recently died in prison are determined to kill the judge who sentenced him. The rookies must guard the judge and find the criminals. Terry becomes their next target when he prevents their plans for the judge.
Mike is alarmed to find out from his wife and fellow rookies that an old Air Force friend of his is a heroin pusher.
The rookies befriend the girlfriend of a robber after Terry delivers her baby and in return becomes the criminal's target. Unless the rookies can catch this man, the girl will be charged with the robbery.
A policeman who was injured in a market holdup returns to the force after a ten year recovery, in pursuit of the man he thinks is responsible for shooting him.
Lt. Ryker steps from behind his desk to investigate a protection racket in the neighborhood where he grew up.
The Rookies must find those responsible for holding up gun shops throughout the city.
A photographer friend of Chris' accidentally catches a hired assassin in one of her shots. The rookies must protect the girl and at the same time figure out who this man is trying to assassinate.
It's Christmas Eve and after settling a number of routine disturbances around town, the rookies enjoy a Christmas dinner at the home of Jill and Mike Danko. Jill and Mike are also entertaining their niece who is upset over her parents' separation.
After a syndicate boss is arrested, the rest of the gang plot to take over and continue their work. They are intent on killing Lt. Ryker. The rookies must put the rest of this gang behind bars.
The dangers of owning a gun are explored when the rookies have to avenge the accidental shooting of a man who bought a gun to protect his family.
Mike's eager new partner proves to be a little too eager when he is found spending his off hours hunting for pushers because his younger brother died of an overdose.
A woman's son is kidnapped in a supermarket parking lot but when questioned by the rookies she denies the entire incident. Her and her husband are afraid because they adopted the boy illegally and the kidnappers are the natural parents.
The rookies must find ample evidence to arrest Tommy, who introduces young girls into unsavory careers for monetary gain.
The rookies are involved in a case of mistaken identity when they charge the wrong man with the murder of a policeman.
Harrelson is the head of the Special Weapons and Tactics team, a unit trained to handle unusually volatile situations. His hard-nosed attitude about police work irks rookie Terry Webster. (This Rookies episode served as the pilot for the S.W.A.T. series).
Conclusion. Harrelson is the head of the Special Weapons and Tactics team, a unit trained to handle unusually volatile situations. His hard-nosed attitude about police work irks rookie Terry Webster.
A look into Lt. Ryker's more sensetive side has him befriending a young, mixed-up girl who reminds him of the daughter he was forced to give up for adoption. The girl's boyfriend persuades her to use her friendship with Ryker for his criminal gain.
A mentally retarded man, who longs to be a policeman, witnesses a murder in a gas station. But he has difficulty informing the police of what he saw.
Kate Jackson takes center stage in this thriller-styled episode. After being involved in a car accident on a stormy night an injured Jill becomes the prisoner of a disturbed man, who claims to be a doctor.
When burglar Brad Gifford is arrested, his cop-hating, now orphaned son, Jody, is taken to Lambert Hall where he is befriended by Ryker, a former orphan himself. Jody is just beginning to trust and like Ryker when his father, aided by Augie Baker and P.G. Larkan, escapes custody and comes for him. Ryker is taken hostage. The group is traced down by Mike and Terry. In the resulting shootout, Augie is killed, P.G. arrested, and Brad Gifford is mortally wounded. Jody is taken back to the home where he is given foster parents, and a new life.
After the tragic death of a bright high school student, the rookies put in a team effort to get the pushers off the school campus. They get some help from a pusher who is pretending to scorch for the source.
Mike is critically injured when he tries to capture the leader of a militant group and Terry is taken hostage.
An unidentified nine-year-old girl is accidentally hit by a car after two hedonistic ""swinging single"" men spike her lunch with narcotics. Before she dies, she begs Terry for help. Terry, reluctant to let her die a Jane Doe, investigates.
Jill is working in a womens prison, fighting an outbreak of diphtheria. In order to protest for better food and working conditions, inmates take Jill Danko and Dr. Malcolm hostage.
Young crooks Pat Stevens and Glen Barton rob ticket agent Brewster and shoot rookie Chris. The scene is witnessed by mailman Charlie Brooks, who is adamant about not getting involved. Eventually his wife, Nadine, and daughter, Stacy, encourage him to cooperate with the rookies, and finally, the criminals are apprehended.
A female officer is blamed for her partner's death during a jewelry store robbery. With her new partner, Mike, she sets out to solve the crime and prove her worth to the police department.
The rookies must investigate a robbery at Memorial Hospital. The blood bank was robbed and its contents sold to the black market, leaving an infant at the hospital on the critical list.
Chris' sister makes a surprise visit on her brother. He is suspended after conducting an unauthorized bust of the man who molested her.
An ex-convict, out on parole, desperately wants to go straight, but is sought after by his ex-cellmates to use his safe-cracking abilities in a robbery.
Terry is run down by a car driven by the leader of a street gang in his old neighborhood. When one of the members of the gang is overheard calling for an ambulance, he is forced to kill Terry or he will be killed by the gang for betrayal.
A rookie accidentally overpowers a professional assassin and is named ""hero"". The assassin vows to kill the rookie and escapes with Jill as a hostage, offering to exchange her for the rookie.
Chris and Terry have their patrol car stolen by teenage vandals while investigating a major robbery in a department store and three heavily armed killers trap them there.
After a series of Sunday bombings of porno bookshops and massage parlors sweep the city, Chris and Terry recognize the same girl, at the scene of each incident. The dangerously schizophrenic top fashion model believes she is being instructed by a supreme being.
The rookies stake out an abandoned factory where a heroin deal is about to take place, and are able to seize the drugs and arrest all but one man. This man must get the heroin back from the police.
Forest, a tough career cop, takes $10,000 from the scene of a robbery after his partner is killed by the robbers. Lt. Ryker puts an undercover investigator on the case to retrieve the money.
A man who was forced to spend eighteen years in prison for a crime he did not commit is determined to get the men who framed him.
Mike, a former helicopter pilot in Vietnam, becomes the prey of a deranged ex-POW who blames the policeman for his capture by the Vietcong.
Terry vows to find the murderer of Dan Kennedy, a retired cop turned security guard. Dan was the father of a blind girl, Terry's former girlfriend.
After a woman is fatally assaulted by three junkies, her son, a doctor in the same hospital where Jill works, announces his intention to get revenge against the three, who were released from jail on a technicality.
The rookies are given undercover assignments in order to smash a syndicate-owned porno film company responsible for the deaths of some of its actors.
A frightened sixteen-year-old boy is forced to take the blame for the crimes of a junkie he has become mixed up with. The two had committed a burglary and escaped after killing a cop. The boy is Terry's current girlfriend's brother.
A gambler kills his creditor and is witnessed by Jill Danko whom he and his accomplice must now do away with. Another episode dedicated to nurse Jill Danko. In this episode Jill bears a big resemblance to her later character Sabrina Duncan.