Featured in all but the seventh film, Hightower (played by Bubba Smith) was a florist before joining the academy. He is best known for his immense stature and superhuman strength. Hightower practices for his driving test by ripping the front seat out of a compact car (a 1977 Honda Civic owned by Copeland) and steering comfortably from the back seat. However, he is the most soft-spoken of all the characters. Despite his gigantic size, Hightower has sometimes admitted that he lacks self-confidence, such as when he tells Mahoney that he has not driven a car since he was twelve years old, and fears that he will fail the test and get kicked out of the police academy. His character often breaks things or uses force to threaten the bad guys. Other examples of him using his strength were when turned over the practice squad car with Copeland inside, who had insulted his friend Hooks by calling her a "dumb fat jiggaboo". (Both Hooks and Hightower are black, Copeland is white) and Harris kicks him out of the academy. After he returns to his old job as a florist, he hears sirens and he finds Mahoney and Harris taken captive by a dangerous gunman. He pretends to be a bad guy while helping the shooter decide which one to kill first. He points to Harris, and punches out the gunman.
Hightower is reinstated and graduated from the academy with a decoration for bravery, and eventually made Lieutenant after wrestling an alligator in order to save Harris' life. Hightower also seems to be a dog handler as he has German Shepherd police dogs in the 3rd and 4th films.
In the sixth movie, in pursuit of the Wilson Heights Gang, the only time he actually acknowledges himself being angry is when he is almost injured by the largest of the Wilson Heights Gang criminals. When he gets up after having construction-zone items fall on him, Hightower notices that his name pin was displaced and says to himself, "Now I'm mad."
Hightower is also in the animated series, along with Laverne Hooks.