Activision's forthcoming Gamecube, PS2 and Xbox title True Crime: New York City has become the latest game to face harsh criticism for its representation of police officers.
Speaking to New York's Daily News, NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly said: "It's an outrage. I think it disrespects all police officers and it's done in extremely poor taste."
True Crime: NY follows the adventures of Marcus Reed, a former gangster turned cop, as he fights to bring order to the city streets and avenge the death of his mentor. The police officers in the game are shown breaking into apartments, often without a warrant, and assaulting and intimidating suspects. They're referred to as employees of the "PDNY", however, rather than the NYPD.
Ex-New York policeman and former NYPD Blue executive producer Bill Clark is acting as a technical advisor on the game, along with fellow ex-officer Tom Walker. Commissioner Kelly has openly criticised their involvement, describing it as "Totally inappropriate."
"It's a tough job, a dangerous job, and this undermines what police officers try to do. I'm saddened that even some former members of the department are linked to that videogame," he said.
Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch has declared his support for Kelly's comments, and demanded that the game's Hollywood stars - who include Christoper Walken, Laurence Fishburne and Mickey Rourke - return the payment they received for their performances.
Clark is said to have responded by saying that police union officials should stop focusing on videogames and spend more of their energy on "Getting cops more than a $25,000 starting salary.
"It's a game, not a training video for the NYPD," he told the Daily News.
But Lynch hit back at Clark once again, saying: "The cop who worked on this videogame should look in the mirror. He [makes] it harder for everyone working on the job."
True Crime: New York City is out in November.
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