Pellegrini is introduced to the reader as an amiable, good-natured cop. Although he doesn't partake in the lewd remarks and gallows humor of his fellow officers, he has a deep appreciation for police culture. Simon describes him as "content in the knowledge that nothing in the world can come between...
Pellegrini is introduced to the reader as an amiable, good-natured cop. Although he doesn't partake in the lewd remarks and gallows humor of his fellow officers, he has a deep appreciation for police culture. Simon describes him as "content in the knowledge that nothing in the world can come between a cop and his attitude." Pellegrini's affable nature is demonstrated by his acceptance of the nickname "Phyllis"; other officers in the macho homicide unit might rebel against this moniker, but Pellegrini plays along.
Pellegrini's defining characteristic is his unrivaled work ethic; although he's spent less than two years in the homicide department, he is "generally regarded to be the hardest worker in Sgt. Jay Landsman's squad." He demonstrates this work ethic by pulling an all-nighter poring over the unsolved murder of Rudolph Newsome on Gold Street.
Simon demonstrates Donald Worden's personality by highlighting the bitter, acrimonious things he enjoys; he drinks the "brown bile from the very bottom of the office coffeepot" and smokes "Backwoods, a mean, black cigar." He's known as "Big Man" in the homicide department, and the other detectives are wary of his imposing demeanor and sullen, brooding mood.
However bitter he may be, Worden is respected for being a true, old-school policeman. Simon describes him as "the only surviving natural police detective in America." He's much more at home on the streets of Baltimore than in the homicide office; he'd rather "eat his gun than sit at a typewriter for two hours." Yet when push comes to shove, Worden proves himself to be a man of strong integrity and work ethic. He dedicates himself to finding the truth behind a police-involved shooting, in spite of the fallout from his co-workers.
Harry Edgerton is portrayed as a more "gentlemanly" officer who considers himself to be above the locker room culture of the homicide unit. He enters a crime scene with "freshly shined loafers," and after a crude joke from a fellow officer, quips: "Police are sick fucks."
He is not, however, immune to the sexism which pervades the homicide department. Edgerton feels as though "the verdict [is] still out" with regards to the capabilities of female detectives, and he immediately gets nervous when one arrives to evaluate the crime scene he's working.
In terms of work ethic, Edgerton is portrayed as an officer who cuts corners and would rather close a case quickly than find the truth. He attempts to delay the work of the aforementioned female officer, worried that she will turn "a seeming suicide into a murder," thus creating another open case on his file and requiring further investigation.