Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol is the fourth comedy film in the Police Academy series. It was released in 1987.
A group of Police Academy graduates are sent to train a group of newly recruited civilian officers. The original Police Academy cast reprise their roles in the film. Capt. Harris, not seen since the first installment, returns as the film's nemesis. In Police Academy 2 and 3, Capt. Mauser (played by Art Metrano) filled that role, but Metrano was severely injured in a fall after filming number 3, and asked to be replaced for the remainder of the series. This was the last Police Academy Movie to feature Steve Guttenberg as Carey Mahoney. This film also stars a young David Spade, as well as a brief cameo from pro skateboarder Tony Hawk.
Commandant Eric Lassard (George Gaynes) decides that the police force is overworked and understaffed, so he comes up with the idea of recruiting civilian volunteers to work side-by-side with his officers in a program called "Citizens On Patrol" (COP). Carey Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg) and his friends Moses Hightower (Bubba Smith), Larvell Jones (Michael Winslow), Eugene Tackleberry (David Graf), Zed (Bobcat Goldthwait), Sweetchuck (Tim Kazurinsky), Laverne Hooks (Marion Ramsey), and Debbie Callahan (Leslie Easterbrook) are in charge of training the civilians. The civilians include the enormous Tommy "House" Conklin (Tab Thacker), gung-ho senior citizen Lois Feldman (Billie Bird), and skateboarding delinquents Kyle (David Spade) and Arnie (Brian Backer).
Captain Thaddeus Harris (G. W. Bailey) believes "the concept of citizens doing police work is asinine" and is determined to see the COP program fail and take over Lassard's job at the academy. When Lassard leaves on an overseas conference, Harris, along with his right hand man Lt. Proctor (Lance Kinsey), are put in charge of the academy and Harris immediately plots to make the COP volunteers quit and leave the police work to the officers. The volunteers however do well in their training. Mrs. Feldman excels in firing Tackleberry's .44 Magnum and the two find a friendly bond in each other. In training for water safety and drowning victim rescue, Zed "rescues" a cadet but experiences a personal loss of his no longer functioning watch, and mourns the death of the cartoon character inside of it saying it was the last thing he ever stole before joining the academy. Through his loss Zed gains a love interest, Laura (Corinne Bohrer), a reporter/photographer who has come to the academy to view Lassard's COP program and takes a fancy to Zed. Unfortunately Harris ruins the moment and insults Zed and Laura, which causes Zed to replace Harris's deoderant with mace. In the next scene while Zed instructs the volunteers on the very important matter of how to correctly eat a donut, Harris is seen wearing a medical device suspending his arms in the air. Despite the pranks played upon him during the various training exercises the volunteers take, Harris is determined to make the Citizens on Patrol program fail.
Jones learns that volunteers House, Kyle, and Arnie believe themselves ready to go out and catch criminals, so Jones, Mahoney, Hightower, and Tackleberry play a prank on the boys to make them take their training more seriously. Later, after being yelled at again by Captain Harris and being called a disgrace, Zed is comforted again by Laura, who says she thinks he is perfect.
After several volunteers accidentally foil an undercover police sting, the Citizens on Patrol program is suspended, much to Harris's delight. While Harris gives a tour of his precinct, Proctor messes up and is tricked by the inmates into releasing every inmate at the precinct 19 jail, including a team of ninjas, and special guest Randall "Tex" Cobb.
When Lassard's officers hear of the jailbreak, the COP volunteers are dispatched along with the regular officers to catch the escaped felons, which include a team of ninja warriors. After stopping a robbery, and a high speed air balloon chase, the felons are all recaptured. Meanwhile House, Kyle, and Arnie save Harris and Proctor from drowning in a river. And Zed impresses his girlfriend Laura by saving Sweetchuck's life after they both fall out of a plane in mid-air. The several police chiefs who came to witness Lassard's program in action congratulate and compliment Lassard on his program and his officers.
- Steve Guttenberg as Sgt. Carey Mahoney
- Bubba Smith as Sgt. Moses Hightower
- Michael Winslow as Sgt. Larvell Jones
- David Graf as Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry
- Tim Kazurinsky as Officer Sweetchuck
- Leslie Easterbrook as Lt. Debbie Callaghan
- Marion Ramsey as Sgt. Laverne Hooks
- Brian Tochi as Officer "Elvis" Nogata
- Lance Kinsey as Lt. Proctor
- G. W. Bailey as Capt. Thaddeus Harris
- George Gaynes as Cmndt. Eric Lassard
- George R. Robertson as Commissioner Henry Hurst
- Bobcat Goldthwait as Officer Zed
- Derek McGrath as Butterworth
- Scott Thomson as Sgt. Chad Copeland
- Billie Bird as Mrs. Lois Feldman
- David Spade as Kyle Ault
- Brian Backer as Arnie
- Tab Thacker as Tommy "House" Conklin
- Corinne Bohrer as Laura
- Sharon Stone as Claire Mattson
- Cameo appearances by skateboarders Steve Caballero, Chris Miller, Tommy Guerrero, Lance Mountain, Mike McGill, Tony Hawk.
The film had a negative reception from critics. The film was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song for the song Let's Go to Heaven in My Car.
The film was poorly received, with a 0% "Rotten" rating and an average reviewer rating of 2.4 out of 10 on Rotten Tomatoes.
Police Academy 4 debuted at number one in the United States weekend box office.
Motown Records issued a soundtrack album on record and cassette; this was the only film of the series to have a soundtrack album released.
- Rock the House - Darryl Duncan (5:29)
- It's Time to Move - S.O.S. Band (3:19)
- Dancin' Up a Storm - Stacy Lattisaw (3:29)
- Let's Go to Heaven in My Car - Brian Wilson (3:30)
- The High Flyers (Police Academy Theme - Montage) - Robert Folk (2:04)
- Citizens on Patrol - Michael Winslow And The L.A. Dream Team (4:16)
- Rescue Me - Family Dream (4:54)
- I Like My Body - Chico DeBarge (3:56)
- Winning Streak - Garry Glenn (3:12)
- Shoot for the Top - Southern Pacific (2:46)