'Wire' inspiration, actor and real-life cop Jay Landsman Sr. promoted to lieutenant

"The Wire" may have ended years ago, but one of its police isn't done yet.

Jay C. Landsman Sr., the retired Baltimore City homicide detective who both inspired and played characters on the HBO drama, was promoted to lieutenant in the Baltimore County Police Department on Monday.


Landsman inspired characters on David Simon's "The Wire" and "Homicide: Life on the Street" — namely Jay Landsman in "The Wire" and John Munch, played by Richard Belzer, in "Homicide." The fictional Jay Landsman was played by Delaney Williams in "The Wire."

Meanwhile, Landsman himself also starred in "The Wire" as Dennis Mello, who eventually becomes commander of the Western District in the series.


Simon, a former Baltimore Sun reporter, met Landsman in the city's homicide unit as he was researching his book "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets," which was developed into the television series.

These days, Landsman and his son Jay C. Landsman Jr. both serve in the Baltimore County Police Department. Landsman Sr. retired from the city's police force in 1994, when he joined the county.

"I never had a bad day down there, I loved it," he told The Baltimore Sun on Tuesday. "I had time to retire and I wanted to to do something different, so I started over again out here. I'm equally happy out here."

The father and son made history 11 years ago when they were simultaneously promoted from corporal to sergeant in the department. Landsman Jr. is now a captain.

And father and son were together again Monday, when Landsman Sr. was promoted to lieutenant, posing for a photo that was tweeted out by the department.

Landsman Sr. said he didn't expect to seek a promotion to lieutenant, "but it's a habit." As for making captain, he said it's not likely.

"I figure by the time I'm eligible for captain I'll be 103," he said.