He is a troublemaking, womanizing cad with a heart of gold. His worst habit is retaliating against insults in bizarrely effective ways. For instance, the last straw before his police career was when he was a parking-lot attendant when he was forced to park a car for an abusive customer in a full parking lot; he put the car into a side-wheelie, crashed it between two cars and proudly proclaimed, "It fits!". Since his father was a decorated police officer, Mahoney was given the choice of the police academy or jail by his father's former boss, Captain Reed, who did not want Mahoney's antics to reflect poorly on his father. He is best known for protecting Commandant Lassard and playing practical jokes on Capt Harris, Mauser, Proctor, Blankes and Copeland, as the five men view Mahoney to be unworthy of being a police officer due to his carefree attitude about life.
Despite his womanizing and his habit of breaking the rules, Mahoney is portrayed as being a good and courageous person willing to help those in need, regardless of the consequences. The fact that he graduates with a decoration for bravery speaks to that personal valor. By the third movie, Mahoney's dedication and love for his job as a police officer comes out, as he continually stands up for his cadets, and even gives a speech highlighting how important the cadets are to the Academy and to his peers which inspires the cadets to work harder and achieve their potential. In Police Academy 4 : Citizens On Patrol, Mahoney successfully lobbies to have two skateboarders, Arnie and Kyle, to be placed in the "Citizens on Patrol" program as an alternative to jail time, reminiscent of how Mahoney himself started in the Academy and had his life turn around for the better.Mahoney is in the animated series, almost every time along with his partner Jones (when in action). He is absent from the last three films, a change that is unexplained. According to the producers, he was originally in the script for the fifth film, but Guttenberg declined the part.
Mahoney is focused on personal hygiene and was visibly disturbed when he entered his partner's apartment in the second movie and was disgusted by Schtulman's eating habits.
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