Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol is a 1987 American comedy film. It is the fourth installment in the Police Academy franchise. It was released on April 3, 1987 and is the sequel to Police Academy 3: Back in Training.

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol
Police Academy 4 film.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Drew Struzan
Directed byJim Drake
Produced byPaul Maslansky
Donald West
Written byGene Quintano
Based on
Music byRobert Folk
CinematographyRobert Saad
Edited byDavid Rawlins
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • April 3, 1987 (1987-04-03)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$17 million[1]
Box office$76.8 million[1]

A group of Police Academy graduates are sent to train a group of newly recruited civilian officers. The original Police Academy cast reprise their roles in the film. Capt. Harris, not seen since the first installment, returns as the film's nemesis. In Police Academy 2 and 3, Capt. Mauser (played by Art Metrano) filled that role, but Metrano asked to be replaced for the remainder of the series after filming number 3. This was the last Police Academy film to feature Steve Guttenberg as Carey Mahoney. This film also stars a young David Spade in his feature film debut, as well as featuring a brief appearance from pro skateboarder Tony Hawk as Spade's double in a skateboarding scene.[2]


Commandant Eric Lassard decides that the police force is overworked and understaffed, so he comes up with the idea of recruiting civilian volunteers to work side by side with his officers in a program called "Citizens On Patrol" (COP). Carey Mahoney and his friends Moses Hightower, Larvell Jones, Eugene Tackleberry, Zed, Sweetchuck, Laverne Hooks, and Debbie Callahan are in charge of training the civilians. The civilians include the enormous Tommy "House" Conklin (who Hightower used to babysit), gung-ho senior citizen Lois Feldman, Tackleberry's own father-in-law, and skateboarding delinquents Kyle and Arnie. The latter pair were caught by Capt. Harris, and the judge was about to throw the book at them until Mahoney speaks to the judge to let Arnie and Kyle join the COP program as alternative punishment. The judge agrees to this, and the boys are joined by their unsuccessful attorney, Butterworth.

Believing "the concept of citizens doing police work is asinine", Harris is determined to see the COP program fail and take over Lassard's job at the academy. When Lassard leaves on an overseas conference, Harris, along with his right-hand man Lt. Proctor, are put in charge of the academy and Harris immediately plots to make the COP volunteers quit and leave the police work to the officers. The volunteers, however, do well in their training. Mrs. Feldman excels in firing Tackleberry's .44 Magnum, and the two amicably bond with each other (given that she reminds Tackleberry of his mother). In training for water safety and drowning victim rescue, Zed "rescues" a cadet but loses his no-longer-functioning Mickey Mouse watch, saying it was the last thing he ever stole before joining the academy. However, Zed gains a love interest, Laura, a reporter/photographer who has come to the academy to view Lassard's COP program and becomes attracted to Zed. Unfortunately, Harris ruins the moment and insults Zed and Laura, which causes Zed to replace Harris' Right Guard deodorant with mace, which burns his armpits. Despite the pranks played upon him during the various training exercises the volunteers take, Harris, nevertheless, is still determined to make the Citizens on Patrol program fail.

Jones learns that volunteers House, Kyle, and Arnie believe themselves ready to go out and arrest criminals, so he, Mahoney, Hightower, and Tackleberry play a prank on the boys, locking them in a prisoner transport van with Hightower, who is posing as a Voodoo practitioner who reanimates his "dead" brother, played by Tackleberry, as a Jason Voorhees-esque maniac with a chainsaw to make them take their training more seriously. Later, after Captain Harris yells at him again and calls him a disgrace, Laura comforts Zed again and says she thinks he is perfect.

After several volunteers accidentally foil an undercover police sting, the Citizens on Patrol program is suspended, much to Harris' delight. Mahoney believes that he did that on purpose to shut down the COP program and pays him back by putting superglue on the mouthpiece of Harris' bullhorn, causing the mouth guard part to get stuck on the rims of his mouth. Sometime later, Harris gives some prominent citizens a tour of his precinct when Proctor messes up and is tricked into releasing every inmate at the precinct 19 jail, including a team of ninjas, and special guest Randall "Tex" Cobb. After the criminals imprison Harris and his guests, they escape from the precinct, only to run into Mrs. Feldman, who immediately informs the Lassard academy.

When Lassard's officers hear of the jailbreak, the COP volunteers are dispatched along with the regular officers to catch the escaped felons. After stopping a robbery and a high-speed air balloon chase, the felons are all recaptured. Meanwhile, House, Kyle, Arnie, and Butterworth save Harris and Proctor from drowning in a river after the latters' attempt (and failure) to participate in the chase, and Zed impresses his girlfriend Laura by saving Sweetchuck's life after they both fall out of a plane in mid-air. Several of the police chiefs who had gone to witness Lassard's program in action congratulate and compliment Lassard on his program and his officers, much to Harris' dismay.


Staff at The AcademyEdit

C.O.P. ProgramEdit



Motown Records issued a soundtrack album on record and cassette; until 2013, this was the only film of the series to have a soundtrack album released.

  1. Rock the House - Darryl Duncan (5:29)
  2. It's Time to Move - S.O.S. Band (3:19)
  3. Dancin' Up a Storm - Stacy Lattisaw (3:29)
  4. Let's Go to Heaven in My Car - Brian Wilson (3:30)
  5. The High Flyers (Police Academy Theme - Montage) - Robert Folk (2:04)
  6. Citizens on Patrol - Michael Winslow And The L.A. Dream Team (4:16)
  7. Rescue Me - Family Dream (4:54)
  8. I Like My Body - Chico DeBarge (3:56)
  9. Winning Streak - Garry Glenn (3:12)
  10. Shoot for the Top - Southern Pacific (2:46)


Box officeEdit

The film debuted at number one in the United States weekend box office[3] and would go on to gross a total of $28,061,343.[4] It grossed $76,819,000 worldwide.[1]

Critical responseEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rare approval rating of 0% based on reviews from 20 critics, with an average rating of 2.26/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol sends a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths."[5] On Metacritic the film has a score of 26% based on reviews from 8 critics, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews".[6] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B-.[7]

Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote: "The Police Academy series seems to shoot for an ever younger crowd. The optimum viewer for Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol would be a 10-year-old boy. Even better, it would be a whole pack of them. That's not to say the film isn't funny; it means only that the sense of humor being addressed is very specific. Stay away if drawing room farce is what you're after."[8][9]

The film was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song for the song "Let's Go to Heaven in My Car". (It was the only film in the entire Police Academy film series to receive a Razzie nomination of any sort.)[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c Block, Alex Ben; Wilson, Lucy Autrey, eds. (2010). George Lucas's Blockbusting: A Decade-by-Decade Survey of Timeless Movies Including Untold Secrets of Their Financial and Cultural Success. HarperCollins. p. 631. ISBN 9780061778896.
  2. ^ a b "From Fired To Famous". Forbes. 2008-12-29. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
  3. ^ "POLICE ACADEMY 4 FIRST IN BOX-OFFICE SALES". The New York Times. 1987-04-10. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  4. ^ "Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  5. ^ "Police Academy 4". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  6. ^ "Police Academy 4". Metacritic. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  7. ^ "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on December 20, 2018.
  8. ^ Maslin, Janet (1987-04-04). "FILM: 'POLICE ACADEMY 4'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  9. ^ Thomas, Kevin (1987-04-06). "MOVIE REVIEW Improvement Police Academy 4': Pranks, Cranks". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-05-04.

External linksEdit