|First appearance||"Stray Rounds (episode 2.09)|
|Last appearance||"Took" (episode 5.07)|
|Reason/Cause||End of storyline|
|Occupation||Police Major/Lieutenant of Western District|
|Portrayed by||Jay Landsman|
Dennis Mello is a Lieutenant of the Western District later Major portrayed by Jay Landsman.
Mello first appeared on the series as Western District administrative lieutenant and Major "Bunny" Colvin's second in command and confidante before Colvin's forced retirement. Mello then ran the district until Major Daniels was named district commander. Mello ran briefings for the Western district at roll call maintaining a sense of humor, typically dismissing the men with "don't get captured" and jokingly referring to them as "humps" and "mopes". Mello was once again given command of the Western district after Daniels' promotion to C.I.D. colonel at least until a new Major is given district command. Incidentally, the actor who plays Dennis Mello is a retired Baltimore detective named Jay Landsman, and was the real-life basis for the character of the same name in the show.
Mello appeared with Colvin during the accidental shooting of a nine year old child going off of Colonel Rawls' command to shake the district down for all known drug dealers to get a murder suspect. Mello comments that it was too bad a child had to die before locking all the drug dealers up while Colvin questions what it is they are really doing.
He accompanied Colvin to comstat meetings. Mello was aware of Colvin's "Hamsterdam" free zone where he allowed drug dealing to go unpunished. Mello was worried, but did not report Colvin's actions to his superiors. Colvin protected Mello following the discovery of Hamsterdam by their superiors and after Colvin's departure, Mello was temporarily promoted to Western District Commander. The two remained friends.
In season four Mello returned to his post of administrative lieutenant as Major Daniels was granted the district commander post. Mello worked closely with Daniels and the two tried to convince Officer McNulty to take a position in their operations unit. Both rated his capabilities highly but could not convince him to leave his position in patrol. Daniels however remembering McNulty's past insubordination viewed McNulty's position as a patrolman as a self-redeeming job and was more understanding of McNulty's desire to work as a patrolman. Mello was given command of the Western district again when Daniels was promoted to Criminal Investigations Division colonel. Mello continues to give charismatic roll call briefings including readying his men for polling station duty and introducing the murder warrant for Omar Little. When Commissioner Burrell tried to reassert his command of the force by "juking the stats", the district commanders were told to increase the number of arrests in their districts whether they be felonies or minor infractions. After seeing his officers at work, he went to Daniels to discuss the orders patrol had been given. Mello was personally opposed to this statistical posturing claiming that while the troops were increasing the minor infraction arrests, they were locking up the neighborhood people in the process. Claiming that half of his officers felt the same way, he then asked who they were doing this for as the election was over. Daniels informed Mayor Carcetti who then initiated a new order for the department to no longer make arrests based on statistical quotas but rather quality felonies, something Daniels had been lobbying for. Mello then was later seen commanding the Western troops to do the complicated (by Baltimore Police standards which Mello jokingly states is uncomplicated only if officers went to college or were born by women who did not drink alcohol while they were pregnant) task of searching empty homes for bodies at the request of former district major Cedric Daniels and detective Lester Freamon.
The character is named after a real-life Captain Dennis Mello, who was the Western District commander when Ed Burns was an officer.