The Angry Police Captain, a character used more than a few times in the 80's and 90's and used for comedy relief in the 00's and 10's (That still seems weird to type). That doesn't mean the character has gone away though. There are still too many "serious" movies that fall into the trap of the Angry Captain. In reality, if you are writing a serious police piece, you don't want to have a Captain who yells to get their point across, they are actually much scarier. Let's take a look at an example from my own career to examine this point.
When I worked for CBP, my port had a Chief that I was lucky enough to have a special relationship with in the fact that he hated my guts. It was a very symbiotic relationship. I would speak my mind, he would yell at me, figure out it wasn't enough to discipline me over and we would go our separate ways only to do it again in a few months. That was until one fateful winter day.
We had a TV in our break room, but we were not allowed to enjoy our breaks in the break room watching the TV provided for the break room. Nope, of all the channels they paid for in the cable package, we were only allowed to watch the news. All right, no problem. The TV had ESPN News. Heck, it even has "news" right there in the name. Good enough for me. Apparently not good enough for the Chief though. He walked by, saw me watching that, walked right up to my supervisor and, oh boy, the proverbial crap hit the fan.
I was promptly written up for watching "unauthorized" channels (they provided) and I asked my Supervisor why watching wall to wall coverage of Anna Nicole's death was more enriching just because it was on CNN. He told me the TV was only for learning about events going on in the world. I countered with the fact that basketball isn't played on the (censored) moon. I was told to zip it. I didn't and asked of I needed to turn my back when CNN showed sports highlights. It was all good fun.
Then, two days later, the Chief came up to me all nice as pie, "Hey, Dave, how ya doing? I heard you were a little upset. How about you stop by my office, after the next flight, and we can talk it over?" He should have called me "Sport" to really finish how thick he was laying it on. I knew one thing right away:
Anyway, after the next flight was over, I walked down to the Chief's office and tapped on the door. The Chief was nice as pie, "Hey, Dave, come on in. Thanks for coming. Go ahead and have a seat and we'll chat." As I sat the Chief closed the door (it seemed to slam shut like a horror movie) and sat down at his desk. As soon as he sat, the mood changed instantly. He looked at me and said, "So, I hear you think I am out to get you." I remember looking towards the door and it was like my own personal dolly zoom as the room faded out and the door seemed to run away from me. The Chief then lowered the hammer with, "Because I have to tell you, if I'm out to get someone, I get them."
I wish I could say I responded with, "Roger, Chief, good talk." and got the heck out of there, but the Chief then launched into a 45 minute "pep talk" of exactly what he expected out of his officers. The cherry on top was, "I hear you're up for promotion. Did you know that all promotion packets go to a Chief for the first round of recommendations? Kind of like this pile here. Oh look, there's yours.' I guess he really did get people when he was out to get them.
My point here? Never once did my Chief raise his voice above a conversational tone, but he might as well have been yelling in my ears. When it comes to authority figures in your law enforcement movies, it all comes to what you say and how you say it, not how loud the actor yells it.
And a happy note, I did end up getting promoted... after the Chief left the field and took a desk job downtown. In fact, by the time he retired, I was the same pay grade as he was.