Brooklyn bad boy Rico Amonte was sliding into a life of crime. Then his policeman brother caught him in the act ‚ and hauled him off to Southern California to get him on the straight and narrow. Two years later, Rico is a graduate of the Los Angeles Sheriff's academy ‚ a Deputy Sheriff trainee about to hit the streets in uniform, and with a gun and a badge.
New York's streets were dangerous, but nothing has prepared Rico from the hazing he gets from his own department. His training officer, John Henry Barnes, is the meanest, toughest veteran on the force and is determined to hammer Rico into a by-the-book officer of the law -- or break him in the process.
At the start of his shift, an exhausted Rico is looking forward to some time off. But after a black cat crosses his path, his day goes from bad to worse. Based on his Italian family's history with black cats and bad luck, Rico is convinced that the cat is to blame for his day of missteps and mishaps. Meanwhile, sexually frustrated trainee Lopez inadvertently reveals to Jablonski what she plans to do on her much-needed day off.
Rico and his visiting dad, a retired boxing champ from Brooklyn, revert to their old verbal sparring as Rico—who wants his Pop to see that he's left behind his bad-boy days—tries to figure out the real reason his widowed father has come to see him and brother Angelo. And Rico's natural sex appeal helps him track down an assault suspect.
In spite of Barnes' warning to not get emotionally involved, a genuinely concerned Rico goes beyond the call of duty to search for an abused boy's real father; and although Valero and Williams fear the worst after seeing a white woman get into an SUV with four gang members, the outcome is certainly not what they expect.
The booking of a drunk clown and a mishap involving airplane lavatory "residue" pale in comparison to what becomes the day's priority for the sheriffs—finding a ruthless murderer. Barnes hopes an ex-con now in the business of gang intervention can lead them to the killer, and, during a frightening confrontation, Rico's respect for his training officer increases.
In the beginning, Rico tries to save a person who's been shot in the chest when a huge guy on PCP attacks Rico. Rico fights back, but the fighting back has gone under investigation. Barnes finds an elderly old friend named Earl, and he wants to help him after being assaulted by gang members. Meanwhile, Lopez and Jablonski respond to a call at a club and a disturbance at a car wash.
As Rico just gets used to being tourmented by Barnes; Barnes suffers from a dizzy spell, he is put on desk duty. Amonte gets a new temporary Training Officer, a tough, brassy senior deputy Ryan Layne - a twelve-year veteran.
With his evaluation date looming, Barnes and Briggs warn Rico that he needs to stop letting emotion rule his work. Meanwhile, Rico's squad car is stolen.
When an off-duty Rico witnesses a fatal shooting at a video store and fingers the killer, he suddenly becomes a target for revenge by a local Asian gang, but finds support in his ordeal from an unlikely source. Meanwhile the deputies on duty encounter, among other things, furniture repo men and a man being attacked with ingredients for fried chicken.
Before the public's trust in law enforcement fades any further, Rico, Barnes and the other deputies must find a group who are posing as cops and committing home invasion robberies. Meanwhile, Jablonski is baffled when the same criminal keeps escaping his grasp, and Layne and Williams are grossed out when they find the source of a strange odor emanating from a janitor's apartment.
Rico continues to get lessons on the ways of women when he's involved in busting an illegal female fight club ring and takes a shine to Lucy, one of the more talented boxers. Meanwhile, the usually calm and collected Williams is shaken when a beautiful redhead from his past shows up at Lasky Station, and the deputies try to catch an elusive group of burglars responsible for a string of armed robberies.
A man takes his runaway granddaughter's fifth grade class hostage. Meanwhile, the fear that Rico and Barnes have about snakes is compounded when they have to capture a 20-foot python in an apartment hallway, and Layne learns a touching but sad fact about Jablonski's recent past,
After Rico and Barnes find an abandoned baby girl, the mother shows up to claim her daughter; and even though she accepts responsibility for what she has done, the sheriffs must still press charges against her. Meanwhile, Lopez has to confront her gang past when she sees two homegirls from her old neighborhood making the same mistakes she did.
A shootout erupts between warring gangs at a funeral, but the situation becomes more complicated when Rico and Barnes realize that the sister of a gang member in the Eastside Brims is in love with the brother of the leader of the Westside Blackstones. Meanwhile Barnes must keep his temper in check after finding out that his 15-year-old daughter, Maya, has a boyfriend. And the deputies must find dates for the upcoming L.A. Peace Officer's Charity Ball.
Rico's sheriff's training gets into full swing as he and Barnes handle a melee of calls around the city of Los Angeles, from rescuing a little girl who got stuck in a refrigerator to helping a woman whose mother thinks she's possessed. Meanwhile Williams gets assigned a tough new T.O., and Jablonski is given a new trainee after his first one quit. And, in order to join the department's boxing team, Rico has to first fight Jablonski.