Chief Jack Mannion

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Jack Mannion is the chief protagonist of the television show The District. In the series, Mannion is the Chief of Police in the District of Columbia. Mannion is named after, and is loosely based on, real-life New York City deputy police commissioner Jack Maple, who helped create the series. He is portrayed by Craig T. Nelson.

Manner and methods[edit]

Mannion is firm believer that all laws should be enforced and that nobody is exempt from them, including himself (he, for example, once insisted that an officer give him a traffic ticket). This puts him into conflict with nearly every politician, since him pursuing a certain criminal often conflicts with their interest in some way.

Mannion's team[edit]

Upon his arrival in Washington, D.C., Mannion hand-picked an elite crew of law enforcers, with the intent of cleaning up the streets of Washington. Among these were Deputy Chief Joe Noland (an African-American who was in the running for Mannion's job); Ella Farmer, an Agcomputer statistics analysis expert, Temple Page, an African-American Officer/Detective, Officer Nancy Parras, Detective Kevin Debino (he replaced Detective Danny MacGregor who was killed by a car bomb), and Sgt. Phil Brander. The character Mannion utilizes COMSTAT, a Geographical Information System (GIS) that tracks/maps crime by analyzing statistics that predict possible hot spots of criminal activity in order to more effectively fight crime. (COMSTAT was a program Jack Maple had created during his time in the NYPD.)

Personal life[edit]

Chief Mannion lives on the fictional "Betty-O", a restored white tugboat berthed at the Washington Channel Marina (6042) Slip 38. Mannion transported the Betty-O from up North where he previously worked in Boston, Massachusetts, and Newark, New Jersey. Mannion also has a dog named Cujo.

Mannion is a veteran of the Vietnam War and a former transit cop. From time to time in the television series, Jack's ex-wife, Sherry Regan pops in and out of his life (they have an off-and on romance despite their seemingly irreconcilable differences - Sherry hates his profession because it's so dangerous and always feared that one day Jack wouldn't come home). Before divorcing, Mannion and Regan had two grown children: Jack Jr., who has a drug problem and their daughter, Beth who suffers from depression. She is a Rock and Roll roadie. Mannion was once asked "When do you see her?", Mannion replies "When she needs money." Mannion's love interest at the end of the series was Vanessa Cavenaugh, a civil rights attorney.

The character is portrayed as a tough "man of the people" and enjoys opera, old movies (he sometimes makes references to them, usually in comical fashion) and "Jiffy Bars", a chocolate-covered rice-crisp. Jack Mannion is known for his wild shoes, some of which are two toned.


In 2002, Mannion is surprised by Erin Vratalov (Alla Korot), the daughter of a Russian mobster who escaped from prison and shoots Jack on his boat, The Betty-O. Wounded, Jack falls overboard into the Potomac River. A full-out manhunt ensues to find the Chief as a group of forensic types and cops scour the Betty-O for clues as to the Chief's whereabouts. Eventually, the Chief washes ashore with a bullet wound in his chest. After a slight bout with amnesia and confusion, Mannion hunts down his would-be assassins and then once again takes up residence on the Betty-O. The Chief later sold his boat to an old cop buddy who sailed the Betty-O off into the sunset to spend his retirement years on the ocean waves. Jack relocated to an inner city apartment to be close to the "People" after he was fired (then reluctantly rehired) by the Mayor.