In the Farmington district of Los Angeles, home to much of the city's crime, Captain David Aceveda is taking credit for having made this "war zone" a safer place to live. Yet, to the politically ambitious captain's dismay, much of the credit for the neighborhood's falling crime rate is owed to Detective Vic Mackey, head of the department's Special Enforcement Unit Strike Team, an elite group of cops who play fast and loose with the law in an effort to get the job done. While investigating a murder, Detectives Dutch Wagenbach and Claudette Wyms learn that the victim's eight-year-old daughter is missing. After Vic helps track down the little girl's crack addicted father, they discover he sold her for $200. Using a lead provided by the girl's father, Dutch and Claudette arrest George Sawyer. Despite Sawyer's denials, Dutch is certain he knows where the girl is and, using some clever psychology, gets him to reveal that he traded her to another pedophile. As Dutch and Claudette search for the girl and her alleged captor, Dr. Grady, Aceveda enlists Officer Terry Crowley in an undercover investigation to prove Vic is on the payroll of local drug dealer. Though Dutch arrests Dr. Grady, his efforts to get him to reveal Jenny Reborg's whereabouts are stonewalled. Yet, once Vic gets a few minutes alone with Grady, the doctor provides information that leads Dutch to the house where he's imprisoned the girl. Finally, while determined to force Vic to toe the line, Aceveda learns just how many well-placed friends the corrupt detective has in the department. And once Crowley is given his chance to join in the Strike Team's next raid, Vic's suspicions lead him to shoot the undercover cop to death in order to keep him from talking.