Played by John O'Donohue: Like a lot of detectives close to retirement, Eddie was living the easy life on the night tour of the 15th squad, shuffling papers and leaving the big investigations to Sipowicz and company. He got a sympathy promotion to first grade pay when he was about to go on medical leave to battle cancer, but when he returned to active duty, Eddie decided to start taking his career seriously again. He passed the sergeant's exam, and when Lt. Rodriguez decided to retire, Eddie used his friendship with the head of department personnel to take Tony's place as boss of the 15th squad. Eddie's not very bright, but he's at least smart enough to recognize that his charges know what they're doing, and has adopted a hands-off approach to command. In his spare time, Eddie and his wife take in foster kids to give back to the community.

John O'Donohue

Whether or not you believe that the fictional NYPD would entrust Eddie Gibson with a position of authority, the real one did exactly that with John O'Donohue, who spent 20 years on the job, including a stint as an administrative lieutenant in the Midtown North precinct.

John became interested in acting midway through his police career because, as he says, "I kind of saw it as a way to be able to vent my feelings." He took acting classes and appeared in some Off-Off Broadway shows, and shortly before retirement got a small role in the MTV special "Colin Quinn: Back to Brooklyn," which was directed by a then-unknown Ben Stiller.

When John moved to Los Angeles in 1990 to pursue acting full-time, he discovered that Stiller had made the move himself to write and star in "The Ben Stiller Show" for Fox. John was quickly added to the cast, at first just to play Stiller's partner in a series of "Cops" parodies but eventually branching into new territory, like a sketch where he played a life insurance salesman who sold policies to Grateful Dead fans.

John's two decades on the job made him a natural to play cops, which he did on a variety of TV shows, including "Brooklyn South" from the "Blue" producing team. They remembered him when they created the character of Eddie Gibson, who was originally just a comic relief foil for Sipowicz. And when Esai Morales decided to quit the show, the producers took a big gamble by choosing O'Donohue to replace him.

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