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Will Pope

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

Will Pope is the Assistant Chief of Operations for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Later in the series, he becomes Interim Chief of Police after Deputy Chief Tommy Delk dies.


Chief Pope is responsible for bringing Brenda Leigh Johnson to head the Major Crimes Division (formerly the Priority Homicide 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 (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 named Chief and Pope is assigned to the 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 (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 made Brenda Acting Assistant Chief and made Taylor Assistant Chief when Brenda left. In Major Crimes he's officially the Chief of Police and promoted Captain Sharon Raydor to head Major Crimes with a promise of a promotion to Commander if she took the job. However, this was a lie with Taylor telling her the job was the promotion due to a budget freeze and she should be happy with it.


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, 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 TaylorDavid GabrielLouie ProvenzaAndy FlynnMichael TaoJulio SanchezIrene DanielsBuzz WatsonDr. Morales

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