He had been a veteran of the US military and a security guard prior to joining the police academy. He joined the police force to see more action, but has a poor grasp of the difference between the military and civilian life, using military manners in civilian situations. Tackleberry is trigger-happy; a tendency which would have had him court-martialed long ago had it not been for the fact that he actually has good aim. Tackleberry was also known for getting the job done, but with overkill; example being aiding a little old lady who lost her money in a pay phone by shooting it and making a bunch of money fall in his hands, "Can you identify your quarter, Ma'am?" In the second film, he's assigned to motorcycle duty and meets his new partner, Sgt. Kathleen Kirkland (played by Colleen Camp), who is the female trigger-happy officer of his dreams. After seeing her use a machine gun, he falls in love with her. He confides in Mahoney, revealing that he's 28 years old and still a virgin.
He and Kirkland go out on their first date and afterward, Kirkland tells Tackleberry she loves him. They have sex after removing their guns from inside their clothes. Afterward, He meets her family: Her father is a World War II veteran who was in the Seabees in the South Pacific, her "laughing" mother, and her brother, Bud, who was a boxer in the high school championships. They get married at the Police Academy Chapel with military customs added and drive off in a Bigfoot truck to their honeymoon. They have a trigger-happy son, Eugene Tackleberry, Jr. (featured in the sixth film). This leads to a series of gags involving the Kirkland family, featuring Eugene's father and brother-in-law, whose jibes and admonishments are usually punctuated by a good-natured-yet-brutal punch to the jaw. The mother sees the sadistic horseplay as all in good fun.
Tackleberry always carries the biggest side arm he can lay his hands on, usually a .44 Magnum, and has a predilection for using excessively heavy equipment (like a chainsaw for cutting down a tree which a truant boy had fled onto); in the sixth movie, posing undercover as a taxi driver, he scares off a patron trying to hire his cab by brandishing a grenade. He uses military slang such as "affirmative" and "negative", and the military time system. His personal catchphrase is: "...NOW, Mister!" to make people hurry. In the fifth movie, he went so far as to wade into the ocean off Miami, draw his gun on an invading shark, and order, "LEAVE the swimming area NOW, Mister!". He is happiest weighing the benefits of penetration vs. stopping power. Tackleberry is at heart a benevolent person with a tough exterior. He wants to bury his heavy equipment in anyone he encounters; although he did get selfish when he was allowed to test out certain new firearms at the Annual Police Display in Miami, not wanting to share the guns with other officers. He only gave them up when Callahan coaxed him into handing them over, promising Tackleberry that she would "get some of [his] very own, just as soon as [they] get home."In the animated series he used the bazooka, and is seen with Callahan. Tackleberry's bazooka was often used for comic violence rather than destruction, an example being on an undercover job as an ice cream salesman, then loading the ice cream into his bazooka to cover the escaping crooks in a mess. In the "Team Tack" episode of Police Academy: The Series, Tackleberry was a captain, and mentions his wife Kathleen was one as well. Jones and Tackleberry are the only characters to appear in all of the movies, the animated series and the television series. Also, he is the very first character seen in the first Police Academy film.
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