Sergeant Krupke (played by William Bramley)

Sergeant Krupke (William Bramley) is a minor character in West Side Story.  He is a uniformed beat cop and serves under Lieutenant Schrank; the two are often seen together futilely trying to keep the street gangs in line, particularly the Jets and the Sharks. He is one of only four adults that feature prominently in West Side Story, the other three being Schrank, Doc and Glad Hand.

Though he constantly throws out verbal threats of bodily harm or at least a trip down to the police station, Krupke's bark is shown to be far worse than his bite. His empty threats are a frequent source of amusement, especially for the Jets, who perform the comedy number "Gee, Officer Krupke" to relieve their tension before their war council with the Sharks.

"Gee, Officer Krupke"[edit | edit source]

At Doc's, where the Jets are waiting for the Sharks to come and start their war council, Krupke arrives and reveals that he knows they're up to something and warns them to not be there when he gets back. After he leaves, Tiger mocks Krupke by imitating him, using a rolled-up newspaper as a baton and hitting Riff on the head demanding he give a good reason why he shouldn't drag him down to the station house. Riff begins singing about the societal forces that led him and the others to join a gang; he sings about their upbringing, particularly their parents addictions to alcohol and other drugs.

Krupke (Tiger) is "touched" by Riff's story, who wants to tell it to the world, but Tiger sends him to the judge (played by Snowboy), who cites depravity from a broken home and sends Riff to a headshrinker (played by Action), who believes Riff's delinquency is merely a social disease and sends Riff to a social worker (played by A-Rab), who decides that Riff is just plain no-good and needs a year in jail. It all comes back full circle to Krupke, with the others declaring "Krupke, we've got troubles of our own!"

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