‘Blue Bloods’ Star Donnie Wahlberg ‘Knew All’ the Neighborhood Cops Because of His Brothers’ Arrests

by Matthew Wilson

Donnie Wahlberg may play a police officer on “Blue Bloods” these days. But during his youth, his family was often on the other side of the law.

Wahlberg’s brothers were often in trouble with the law growing up. For instance, Mark Wahlberg plead guilty to felony assault and served 45 days of a two-year sentence in prison. He later straightened his life up to become the big-budget actor he is today.

Throughout his youth, Donnie Wahlberg said he became familiar with the cops in his neighborhood. Wahlberg saw his peers wind up on both sides of the law growing up.

“When I was in Boston growing up, I pretty much knew all the cops in my neighborhood because they had all arrested my brothers,” he said in a 2010 interview. “I would see them around. They knew me. I knew them. We knew a lot of cops anyway. When you grow up in a city like Boston where I grew up, a lot of kids become criminals or cops.”

As a whole, Wahlberg said he always had respect for police officers. But given his family’s record that didn’t stop him from feeling nervous around the police.

“I never really had a bad take on cops,” Wahlberg said. “Oher than I hate when there is one behind me on the highway. I generally feel like I robbed a bank even though I did nothing. I don’t know why that feeling comes over me. I’ll never get used to that feeling of a cop being behind me on the highway.”

‘Blue Blood’ Star on Working With Police

Before he starred in “Blue Bloods,” Donnie Wahlberg portrayed a cop several times throughout his career. Perhaps, his Boston accent helped make him believable as a cop. But for the past 11 years and counting, Wahlberg has been Danny Reagan on “Blue Bloods.”

“Throughout the years I got to work with so many of them,” he continued. “While I think I’ve always had a certain level of respect for cops in general, it’s grown so much over the years. As in every part of life, there’s always some people who break the rules.”

But Wahlberg also has his own thoughts on police and the judgment calls they make. Overall, he believes most police officers try to do the right thing in tense situations.

“I think 9 out of 10 guys — maybe 99 out of 100 guys and women — are out there trying to do the very best they can in very scary, very dangerous circumstances,” Wahlberg said. “Sometimes they make judgment calls and most times they want to do the right thing. Every now and again it goes awry and unfortunately all the times they do make a proper judgment call are very rarely recognized compared to the times they make a bad judgment call.”