Detective Lydia Adams holds a baby boy over a crib. A case-worker from the Department of Child and Family Services stands nearby taking a picture, for the records. A narrator speaks, "Detective Lydia Adams, at the end of a very long day, had to give up a baby. It wasn't the first time."
Flashback to earlier in the morning. John Cooper, Ben, and Chickie are finishing breakfast at a diner. John's explaining a police/military slang term to Ben: the "Mozambique." It refers to shooting an assailant twice in the body and once in the head. John asks Ben where he learned to shoot so well. Ben reiterates that he's been practicing marksmanship since childhood at the Beverly Hills Gun Club.
In South Central, Sammy and his fellow detectives are investigating a streetside murder. The perp is a drunk who admits to the killing; the victim owed him three dollars and was adamant that he would not be paying it back. As the detectives wrap up the preliminary investigation, Janila, a 14-year-old witness to a drive-by, approaches. Sammy's surprised that she hasn't been re-located for her own protection. Janila says they haven't yet and asks about the Police Explorer program.
As John, Ben, and Chickie patrol the streets in their cruiser, Ben notices an armed robbery at a liquor store. He bolts from the car and chases a man holding a gun into the store. He screams at him to drop the gun and get down on the floor. Another man inside the store flees -- and he's stopped cold in his tracks by John, just outside the store. It turns out Ben has apprehended the store owner and nearly let the robber get away. Cooper lectures Ben on the "100 things you did wrong."
As they drive off and the lecture continues, Chickie screams for Cooper to stop the car: there's a baby crawling in the street in front of them. Detectives arrive on scene and begin canvassing the area for clues as to who might have left the baby. They have no initial clues and bring the baby back to their precinct house, Alvarado Station.
Back in the station, Sammy is pleading with the District Attorney to relocate Janila, the young girl who will be the star witness in their upcoming gang trial. The D.A. refuses, disbelieving that Latino gang members would travel to a black neighborhood to hunt the girl down. She leaves. A few minutes later, Janila shows up, asking if Sammy or Nate would sponsor her in the Explorers program. Sure, they tell her.
Sammy calls his wife Tammi and tries to convince her to come to Dewey's retirement party tonight. It's a chance to meet some of his friends and also to meet the retired cop who Sammy's arranged to have take their dog. Tammi's reluctant, saying she'll have nothing in common with the wives and that she doesn't want to give up the dog.
Back in the neighborhood where the baby was discovered, Cooper is going door to door, looking for a witness. A drug addict on a bicycle approaches saying he saw the baby crawl out of a box and a red El Camino drive away. He even partially identified a license plate. The detectives run the plate and trace it to a prostitute and drug user named Christi Cummings.
They cops find Cummings on the streets of Hollywood; she is incensed. She explains that the child is not hers. She let her boyfriend, Skylar Joel, borrow her car to take his baby to the doctor. He's got a lengthy rap sheet for drugs, robbery, and spousal abuse. The cops get an address on Joel and head to his seedy Hollywood apartment, guns drawn. When he answers the door, they burst in. Skylar breaks free as they're cuffing him, crashing through a window and onto the fire escape.
Russell, John, and Chickie give chase. Skylar draws a pistol and fires at Chickie; she's unhurt. He sprints down one alley after another until he's cornered. He draws a knife and begins to wave it menacingly. The cops yell at him to drop it, but he's determined not to go back to jail. Cooper calls for a non-lethal shotgun. A high-powered beanbag to the chest drops Skylar to his knees, and he submits. In lockup, they pressure him for the name of the baby's mother.
From a prison pay phone, Danny, the gang member who ran with Zig Zag, arranges for a hit to be put on Janila, the witness who could put him away. "Consider it done, bro," his cohort tells him. Meanwhile, Nate and Sammy have given Janila a ride home; she's asked them to convince her grandmother to authorize her joining the Explorers. Her grandmother is skeptical, but the detectives persist.
Lydia tracks down the baby's mom to an urban bakery that employees ex-addicts and ex-prostitutes. Brianna, the mom, swears she's clean and that she just asked Skylar to watch the baby for one day. She wants to know where her baby is. Lydia explains that Family Services has him. Brianna is desperate to get him back.
Dewey is being roasted at a retirement banquet. The bar is packed with off-duty cops. Sal and his wife Tammi meet the retired detective who's agreed to take their dog. As they arrange a transfer in the parking lot, the dog is nervous; when they return a few minutes later to check on him, he's chewed his way through the upholstery. The dog wonÃ¢â�¬â�¢t be getting a new home tonight.
In the back bar, John asks Ben how his required therapy is going. Ben says fine, he's almost finished with the sessions, which followed his shooting of a suspect. John probes Ben further about his father, a high-profile lawyer in Beverly Hills. Ben explains that his father left him and his mother when he was ten. One night, drug dealers whom the father had unsuccessfully defended, broke into their home and beat him and his mother. A friend's father decided to teach Ben how to defend himself; he spent every Saturday learning to shoot at the Beverly Hills Gun Club.
Back at the station, Lydia is sitting in on the interview between Brianna, mother of the abandoned baby, and Niecy, the case worker from Family Services. Niecy is very reluctant to give the baby back to his mom, but Lydia pleads with her to take a chance and keep the family together.
At the banquet, television reporter Mia Sanchez finds Sal sitting with his teenage daughter, Kimmy. She pulls him aside for a word -- and then starts kissing him. One kiss, she implores, and after they part, Sal notices his daughter Kimmy who's seen the whole thing. Kimmy thinks it's cool; her dad is embarrassed. Later she tells her dad that she sneaked out against his orders and got her mom's car towed from Hollywood Blvd. She also reveals that she got a tattoo a few days ago -- and it seems to be getting infected. Sal boils over.
Chickie's turn comes up to "roast" Dewey, but she's tongue tied and merely wishes him luck. Dewey steps up and explains to the crowd that his next job will be on movie sets. His biggest worry will be hemorrhoids from sitting on a parked motorcycle all day, he says. The crowd razzes him.
Janila is at home with her grandmother when the gangbangers seek their revenge, peppering her living room with automatic gunfire from a car across the street. They dive for cover, narrowly escaping death. Janila calls Sammy, terrified. He sends a squad car and then follows up personally. After again failing to get the D.A. to provide a safe haven for the girl, a frustrated Sal and Nate take Janila and her grandmother to a hotel, paying for it themselves.
Brianna faces more scrutiny. Lydia pleads with the case worker to give her the baby back. After much deliberation -- and a warning that both of their asses are on the line -- she agrees to return the baby to Brianna.
Her day almost done, Lydia walks up to a nondescript house and knocks on the door. A woman and a small child answer. Lydia asks, "Is he home?" The woman and child leave and a middle-aged man comes to the door, surprised to see her. They obviously have a long shared history from before. "I think I made a mistake," Lydia tells him. "I really do want a kid." The man tells her, "Lyd, I gotta go." Lydia gets it, replying "OK, I know."