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Bill Rawls:
Career Man to a Fault
By
Rebecca Steiner
From "The Target," 1.01 The Wire
afael Alvarez, a staff writer for The Wire and
former reporter for The Baltimore Sun,
describes the character Bill Rawls as such, “A
humorless, sexually-conflicted, statistics-will-keep-my-
tit-out-of-the-wringer colonel” (63). To define the
essence of the character Bill Rawls, I analyze three
examples of how he is interested above all in self-
preservation and self-promotion. First, I consider his
rivalry with Detective Jimmy McNulty. Then, I describe
his statistical approach to police work. Finally, I refer
to times when he puts his political ambitions over what
is best for Baltimore. Rawls’s self-preservation
behaviors strengthen The Wire’s broader critique of the
R
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