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Will Pope

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William "Will" Henry Pope
Name William "Will" Henry Pope
Rank AsstChief Assistant Chief (The Closer, Seasons 1-6)
Chief Interim Chief of Police (The Closer, Season 7)
Chief Chief of Police (Major Crimes)
Affiliation Los Angeles Police Department
Division Office of Operations (The Closer)
Office of the Chief of Police (Major Crimes)
Gender Male
Family Two unnamed children
Spouse(s) Unnamed ex-wife
Estelle Pope (ex-wife #2)
Played by J.K. Simmons
First appearance The Closer (Pilot)
Final appearance The Last Word

William "Will" Henry Pope is the Assistant Chief of Operations for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) during The Closer. Later in the series, he becomes Interim Chief of Police after Chief Delk suddenly dies and is subsequently appointed Chief of Police, a position he holds during Major Crimes.

His previous position as Director of Operations was filled by the recently promoted Assistant Chief Russell Taylor.


Chief Pope is responsible for bringing Brenda Leigh Johnson to head the Priority Homicide Division (later the Major Crimes Division) within the LAPD. He is again her boss, previously being so in Washington, D.C where they first met and became involved in an affair together. He states that he wanted her for the job since the squad was not providing prosecutors with cases they could win ("The Closer (Pilot)").

During Season 6, Pope believes he is being shortlisted to become the new Chief of Police, yet is disappointed to discover that he is not being considered. Deputy Chief Tommy Delk is appointed as the Chief of Police and Pope is going to be demoted to Captain and assigned to the Valley Bureau's Traffic Division, which leaves him considering whether to leave the force. However, Delk dies of an aneurysm and Pope is named Interim Chief, much to the surprise of many within the LAPD, and even himself, having only been told the fact on the car ride over to the burial (Season 7).

Pope does not know that upon selection of the position, Delk offered Pope's position to Brenda. She declines, showing her support to Pope in continuing to fight to stay in his position.

Pope appointed Brenda Leigh Johnson as the Acting Director of Operations when he was officially appointed as the Chief, and when she retired from the LAPD, he promoted Russell Taylor to Assistant Chief and appointed him to the position.

During Major Crimes, he is officially the Chief of Police and transferred Captain Sharon Raydor to head the Major Crimes Division with a promise of a promotion to Commander, if she took the job. However, this was a lie as Taylor told her that the job was the promotion due to a budget freeze and she should be happy with it.

In "Cheaters Never Prosper" of Major Crimes, it was mentioned that the MCD was assigned a investigation of a man murdered in a nightclub because the club owner is a good friend of Pope's and called him, rather than 9-1-1.


Authoritative, commanding and interchangeable in his support, Pope commands authority and generally earns respect from the departmental detectives. His primary goal to close cases and convict criminals sometimes sees him straining under pressure from his superiors to follow the rules, make budget cuts and create greater synergy between the divisions of the LAPD. [1]

Unlike Brenda, Pope gives in to pressure to keep an active role in law enforcement politics in order to keep the department running smoothly. Such a feature is seen in Russell Taylor in the earlier seasons.


Brenda Leigh JohnsonEdit

Pope had an extramarital affair with Brenda when they worked together in Washington, D.C. After he ended it, he divorces his first wife (who remains unnamed) to marry a woman named Estelle, who eventually divorces him. This history causes some personal tension between the two of them, yet Pope asks Brenda to attend his deposition to gain custody of his kids as a character witness ("The Other Woman").

When Brenda first transfers to Los Angeles, Pope readily defends her against the other detectives' complaints, and he is often fiercely protective of her.

Pope seems to still harbor feelings for Brenda, and acts jealous of her relationship with Fritz Howard. His relationship with Fritz is somewhat awkward and uncomfortable since Fritz knows about Brenda and Pope's previous affair.

Brenda discovers that Pope was later having an affair with Marguerite "Maggie" Scott, a financial crime investigator from the Department of Homeland Security, who had been auditing the LAPD. He asks her to keep him informed of her case, after she is found murdered by her car ("Lover's Leap").

Estelle PopeEdit

Pope divorced his first wife to marry Estelle. She later divorces him in Season 2.

Pope gains custody of his children after asking Brenda to appear at his deposition. Estelle, furious at Brenda for her testimony at the deposition, forces her way up to the Squad Room and yells at Brenda, in front of everyone, that "she better not find out that she is sleeping with Pope again". Everyone present in the squad room, including Commander Taylor, learn that Brenda had previously had an affair with Pope because of this. They all begin to ask themselves the inevitable question, "was she transferred here and given such a high rank due to her relationship with Pope?"("No Good Deed"). Following this, Commander Taylor later makes a statement in front of the entire squad about Estelle's behaviour and discredits her accusal towards Brenda, thus saving Pope any embarrassment.


  1. Squad Profiles - Will Pope at Retrieved on 14th April 2013.
The Closer Characters
Brenda Leigh JohnsonSharon RaydorFritz HowardWill PopeRussell TaylorLouie ProvenzaAndy FlynnMichael TaoDavid GabrielJulio SanchezIrene DanielsBuzz WatsonDr. Fernando Morales

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