A while back, I was saying that I thought that Pacey had some of the personality traits of a cop, and I couldn't explain well what I meant. Then, the other day, I was watching my NYPD Blue Season 1 DVD, "The Making of Season 1" extra thingee. In one part, David Milch (writer, creator) was talking about what makes a cop. He spent about a year and a half reseraching cops before the start of the show, a good deal of that with Bill Clark (now a producer on the show, but back then, a NYC detective). Anyway, so much of what he said was exactly what I meant and couldn't express well, so I wanted to share some of it. (I think that inadvertantly the writers gave Pacey these characterstics by giving Pacey a "cop family," but didn't necessarily intend this.) I believe that Pacey was shown to have many of these characteristics in Seasons 2 & 3 and to a lesser degree in later seasons and alsoa little bit in Season 1. JMHO, of course. :-) I also believe Doug showed some of these same characterstics, even if he was a more by-the-book kind of guy. Pacey may have been a loose cannon and might break the rules, but he had a very strong sense of justice, and because he felt that he was unworthy, he tried to compensate for this by doing for others and trying to fix things or right wrongs. I'm not saying that Pacey was Superman, but just that I see some of these characteristics.
One of the things which I think is true of cops, but is certainly true of our show, is the extent to which what looks to be a drama of the workplace is, in fact, a family drama. The reason that I think that is true to life is because so many cops are raised in households where the idea of love is filtered through the idea of duty. That is, cops are emotionally stunted. And mostly what they’re trained to do in their family is to serve... -- David Milch
I know many will not agree, but I always saw Pacey as someone who usually put duty first--and he also had a strong sense of justice and fairness. While Pacey may not have mowed the lawn when he was supposed to or something like that, I think that if he felt that Dawson or Joey needed something, he would do it--come hell or high water--no matter what. I also think his father's attitude, especially in Uncharted Waters, expressed this in a negative way.
It used to be that such a high percentage of cops were Irish or Italian and the Catholic Church figured in a large way in their psyches. They believe by definition that they were unworthy, that they were sinful, that they were fuck-ups, and that the only way they could purge themselves of their shortcomings was to serve an institution. --David Milch
While as far as we know, Pacey wasn't Irish, Italian, or Catholic, but he definitely felt unworthy a lot of the time and as though he were a fuck-up. I don't necessarily see Pacey serving an institution so much as "purging" himself through service and duty and helping others. Pacey wasn't helping random people, but it showed in the obvious ways in which he helped Joey & Bessie with the B&B and the way he worked with Dawson on his movies and/or provided Dawson with things he needed (such as the Betamax machine), and also even in his compassion to people like Anna and Hayley.
And so that internal voice which said, 'You fucked up. You’re no good,' began to express itself through alcoholism...or racism...or it filtered through an antagonism through The Boss. The Job was sacrosanct, but The Boss was someone you could hate.--David Milch
This part doesn't pertain to Pacey exactly. Pacey was not an alcholic, I know he wouldn't be a racist, and I don't think he would be a boss-hater. However, I think would always have authority issues, expecially if his boss were a strong authority figure. His issues with authority would not preclude him from fitting the "cop stereoptype" to a certain degree. All cops don't necessarily believe so much in the letter of the law as in a sense of justice and what's right and what's wrong. The way Pacey went after Rob when he thought Rob had hurt Andie and also after Matt Caulfield when he'd damaged Joey's mural, also illustrate this (to me, anyway).
In the book, True Blue by David Milch and Bill Clark, they talk about how Bill Clark actually kept in contact with the parents of crime victims or other crime victims over many, many years. He would adopt these families as though they were his own, cooking them food and visiting them on holidays. I could *so see Pacey doing this.
Anyway, I love Chef Pacey and Restaurant Owner Pacey, but I think it was a missed opportunity that we didn't see Policeman Pacey. I think I'm just partial to that, so maybe it's just my loss. hehe