Sykes transferred to the Major Crimes Division (MCD) from the Special Investigation Section (SIS) of the Special Operations Bureau, she is an expert on undercover operations. As such, she is the person MCD sends in if the case requires covert evidence gathering. Sykes is a military veteran who served in Afghanistan as a Military Police Officer.
Before joining the LAPD, Sykes served in the Army, working as a Military Police Officer assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. She had been deployed to both Bagram and Kabul as stated in “Letting It Go”. Due to there being more men then women around, Sykes implied to a suspect in “Letting It Go” that she suffered sexual harassment from her coworkers. According to Sykes in “Shockwave, Part 1”, half of her job was stopping soldiers from stealing weapons and munitions for themselves.
- Note: The US Army 101st Airborne Division does not have Military Police Officers of its own. It's probable that Amy was only attached to the 101st Airborne Division as a part of the 716th Military Police Battalion of the 16th Military Police Brigade.
In her introduction in “Reloaded”, Sykes was assigned to the LAPD's tactical surveillance unit, the Special Investigation Section (SIS). In that capacity, she led a team of SIS detectives staking out five suspects who had been robbing grocery stores in a span of eight months, which Lt. Provenza came to regard as the worst undercover operation he had ever seen. After an employee pulled the silent alarm, the LAPD responded, causing the robbers to stop their plans and try to escape. During the escape, the robbers, armed with full-auto M4 rifles, decimated the store parking lot before SIS was able to stop them. Two of the robbers were killed by SIS, one taken into custody, and two escaped out of the back door as the detectives were unable to pursue them because of Force Investigation Division regulations, something Sykes regarded as "crazy".
Amy was aware that the Major Crimes Division had an opening and brought up the subject to Lt. Provenza (who was the acting commanding officer of MCD at the time), which Provenza dismissed outright, as he felt that people usually ask for promotions when they have done something right and not when they have "screwed up", referring to the botched SIS operation.
When Sykes returned to LAPD headquarters, Captain Sharon Raydor had been transferred to command MCD, and Amy told her that SIS, and herself, wanted to follow protocol at the scene of the robbery and that is why they didn't pursue the suspects, something Capt. Raydor agreed with, as she was the former head of the Force Investigation Division. Amy also congratulated her on the transfer to Major Crimes and regarded it as a well deserved transfer, showing completely different attitude towards her than in the beginning of the investigation when talking with Lt. Provenza. Amy eventually earned her transfer to Major Crimes from Capt. Raydor, as Raydor wanted someone in the division who actually liked her. After Provenza heard about the transfer, he called her the biggest two-faced ass kisser he had ever met.
In “Before and After”, Amy is still very exited about getting her transfer to Major Crimes, much to the annoyment of Lt. Provenza who can't stand her over the top enthusiasm. Amy is also very eager to please Capt. Raydor, always waiting to hear Raydor's opinion on something before forming her own. She is also quick to praise Raydor's ideas or observations and also likes to report her findings straight to her, even though most of the time it was Lt. Provenza who gave her the assignments. At the crime scene, Provenza told Sykes to go find the victim's next of kin, his wife, who Amy then brought to the crime scene even though Provenza specifically told her to go, as in leave the crime scene. When the victim's wife saw her husband's body, she caused quite a scene just as the Coroners were lowering the victim to the ground, causing them to drop him.
Later, Lt. Provenza asked Amy to gather up a background report on their victim so they would know what they are up against, Amy found out that the victim had been accused of a sexual assault and proceeds to tell that to Capt. Raydor while she is in the middle of an interview with the victim's wife, upsetting her greatly. This also angered Provenza greatly, as he was the one who asked for the report and therefore Sykes should have reported to him, not Raydor. Lt. Flynn also commented that Amy was "smart and dumb at the same time" to which Provenza noted that she wasn't dumb but rather she was choosing sides. After this, Provenza ordered Amy to help Lt. Tao in finding the victim's iPad.
When Amy was driving with Tao to find the victim's iPad, she asked him why Provenza doesn't like her. Tao told Amy that Provenza doesn't like anybody but also gave her a tip to care more about the victim and not what everybody else thinks about her.
In “Citizen's Arrest”, when Major Crimes gets called to a waste management center because a body was found in one of their barrels, Lt. Provenza orders Amy to search every barrel on the property (with some help from patrol and LA Fire Department). It's possible Provenza ordered Amy to do it just because she is the junior-most detective in the division, but part of the reason could also be Provenza's dislike for Amy.
When all of the barrels were searched and no other bodies were recovered, Amy returned to the murder room to report this to Provenza. When she came in, she didn't notice that there was a civilian in the murder room, a friend of the victim, who hadn't been informed of his friends' death. When the friend found out that his friend was dead, he obviously somewhat freaked out. This earned Amy some dissapointed looks (once again) from Lt. Provenza.
Later in the episode, it's shown that while Provenza is still not overly fond of Amy, he still recognizes her skills and experience gained from SIS, as when their original murder investigation turned into a kidnapping investigation, Provenza suggested to Capt. Raydor that Amy should take the lead on the surveillance of the victim's parents, as SIS has a great deal of experience with dealing with identical situations.
When the division managed to lure one of the kidnappers to a gun store he frequented, Amy and Julio were there to arrest him, along with DDA Hobbs. Hobbs offered the kidnapper a reduced sentence on the spot, as long as he would immediately tell where the kidnapping victim was being held. The kidnapper refused, after which Hobbs ordered Julio to "persuade" the kidnapper to take the deal (Julio was the highest ranking officer on-site at that time). Julio "persuaded" the kidnapper by tearing his own shirt, claiming that the kidnapper attacked him and that Julio was forced to kill him in self defence. The kidnapper, obviously confused, told Julio and Amy that he did no such thing, Julio grabbed him and threw him against the door and countertop before drawing his sidearm and threatening to kill him if he didn't give up the victim's location. During this whole ordeal, Amy tried to calm Julio down, at first, but conceded shortly afterwards as she was unable to control Julio and the look on Amy's face indicated that she had now idea how to handle the situation. The kidnapper eventually gave up the location of the victim, and Julio and Amy were the first detectives to arrive at the site, as the rest of the division was following behind in a surveillance van. After a short firefight with the second kidnapper, the division was able to rescue the victim.
In “Out of Bounds”, Amy was injured requiring hospitalization after being attacked by a suspect. Thankfully, Amy's injuries, while serious, were not fatal. She suffered a concussion, some cuts and bruises, and a dislocated jaw. When Capt. Raydor asked Provenza how this happened and what she missed because she thought the situation was well covered, Provenza noted that they are never "covered", and that while you can have back-up in multiple different forms, there is never a defense against bad luck. Provenza also told Raydor that this is the difference between working in Internal Affairs and homicide. Raydor sends people into possibly dangerous situations and they go because that's their job. He also stated that Amy did that job today, and did it "damn well." Because of her injuries, Amy was absent from “The Shame Game”.
In “Dismissed with Prejudice”, when the court overturns a conviction of a man who was convicted of murdering his wife based on new evidence, Lt. Provenza still insisted that he was quilty, and just found some way he could cheat the system. When Amy asked him how he could be so sure, Provenza gave her three good reasons:
- It's always the husband.
- It's always the husband.
- It's always the husband.
These comments caused some eye-rolls from Sykes and a disapproving comment from Capt. Raydor. When it was eventually discovered that the husband is actually the killer like originally believed but had also killed a second person that night, Provenza noted that it's exactly what he's been saying all along. He also told the reasons again to Amy, but this time, on the last point, the amused Amy joined him in saying "it's always the husband."
Sykes is best known for her role in a investigation of a human trafficking ring that was laundered by a animal hospital (“Zoo Story”). She killed the suspect in self defense after he raised his weapon at her and other officers during his attempted escape.
It was revealed during season 3 that she and her former supervising officer, Lieutenant Chuck Cooper, are dating. The relationship is ongoing. She hid the relationship at first for unknown reasons and its not clear when it started, though she was shown to have been dating someone in the season 3 premier “Flight Risk”. In “Tourist Trap”, it became obvious that Chuck has talked to her about marriage and even having kids, but she does not share his vision. She said that she will not be having children while they both work at the LAPD and that she is not ready to retire for that and doesn't think he is either. She became visibly upset and stated that if kids are so important to Chuck that he should find someone else or he just needs to stop talking about it. This conversation ended at that point as the suspect they were monitoring committed a crime and they went to arrest him. In “Quid Pro Quo” its implied that they are living together during a conversation between Amy and Mark Hickman.
In “Snitch”, her actions came under scrutiny from Assistant Chief Taylor and DDA Hobbs, when she withheld information concerning a witness in a murder investigation because identifying the witness would have placed them in eminent danger. The case was ultimately solved without the need for her witness and she was cleared of any wrongdoing.
In "Hindsight", she started an uneasy relationship with a disgraced former LAPD Detective Mark Hickman who supplied her with theories about their current murders even though, if found out, could ruin the entire investigation and possibly cost Amy her career as Assistant Chief Taylor had issued a direct order to the division to keep him out of the investigation. These theories, which she shared to the division as her own, helped the division in solving the murders and even though she was eventually forced to confess her relationship with Hickman to Raydor, she received no repercussions about the incident as she had recorded all of their conversations and transcribed them by hand for evidence, impressing both Captain Raydor and Lt. Tao, Mark Hickman's former partner.
She later comes in contact with Hickman again in “Quid Pro Quo” when he worked as a defense investigator for defense attorney Linda Rothman. He got Amy to share pictures of the crime scene from her phone, and after he shared these photos with Rothman in good faith, it was revealed that Amy hadn't included them in her original reports of the crime, destroying her credibility as a witness and putting the whole case in jeopardy. Afterwards, Mark started investigating some details of the case without notifying Rothman, and thus helped Amy and MCD on the right track in tracking their suspect. He later told Amy that Rothman screwed him over with the photos and he wanted to do the same to her. Because of the info Mark told Amy, both of the suspects accepted plea deals and Amy's testimony was not needed.
In “Conspiracy Theory, Part 3”, Wes Nolan confirms that Sykes and Cooper are living together. This living arrangement was previously implied by a comment Sykes made to Mark Hickman in “Quid Pro Quo”.
- The Sniper (alongside Lt. Flynn, Lt. Tao and Det. Sanchez) (“Long Shot”)
- Frank Wilshaw (“Zoo Story”)
- In “Before and After”, Amy noted that Lt. Provenza reminds her of her grandparents who just retired and moved to the gulf coast of Florida.
- Before revealing her relationship with Chuck Cooper, Sykes was caught making out with him by Rusty Beck. Both remained unaware of this until Rusty told Sykes after she revealed her relationship to the rest of the squad. The two being caught by Rusty led to Sykes suffering a lot of teasing from the squad. She noted that she had told Captain Raydor about the relationship, as the LAPD policy requires it but thought that Rusty must've learned from Sharon as she was unaware of being caught.
- Sykes' previous career in the military occasionally helps during cases. In particular, her experiences overseas allowed Sykes to relate to a murder suspect in “Letting It Go” while her contacts helped identify a murderer in “Shockwave, Part 1”. Her experiences also make her wary when dealing with child witnesses who could be put into harm's way as a result as seen in “Snitch”.
Career Information Edit
- Amy's badge number is 5349.
- When in uniform, Amy wears three service stripes on her uniform. Each stripe represents five years of service in the LAPD, meaning she has served for 15-19 years. (“By Any Means, Part 1”)
- When Amy was seen in uniform in “By Any Means, Part 1”, we see that her rank is Detective II. Detective II is the first supervisory detective rank, comparable to Sergeant I. It is not known when she was promoted to Detective II and it's possible she held the rank even in her introduction in “Reloaded”.
- Medals and service awards worn by Det. Sykes: (“By Any Means, Part 1”)
| Police Meritorious Unit Citation
The Police Meritorious Unit Citation may be awarded to an organizational unit of the department for bravery or outstanding service by its members functioning as a team, but to a lesser degree than required for the Police Commission Unit Citation.
| Police Meritorious Service Medal
The Police Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to employees who distinguish themselves by performing exceptional service in a duty of great responsibility or of critical importance to law enforcement, but to a lesser degree than required for the Police Distinguished Service Medal.
| Police Medal
The Police Medal is an award for bravery, usually awarded to officers for individual acts of heroism in the line of duty, though not above and beyond the call of duty, as is required for the Medal of Valor.
| Detective Service Ribbon
5 years of service in investigative units as a detective and/or lieutenant.
| Urban Police Rifle Cadre Ribbon
Given to any LAPD officer who is qualified to use a Urban Police Rifle (usually a AR-15 variant chambered in .223)
|Major Crimes Characters|
|Sharon Raydor • Louie Provenza • Andy Flynn • Michael Tao • Julio Sanchez • Amy Sykes • Wes Nolan • Camila Paige • Buzz Watson • Rusty Beck • Russell Taylor • Leo Mason • Fritz Howard • Dr. Fernando Morales • Andrea Hobbs • Kendall|