Asking yourself "Who is deputy commissioner Pete Foley?" is a reasonable question.
And those of you who know who he is, asking yourself "Why the hell would anyone want to cosplay him?" Is also reasonable.
First is a personal opinion about 'The Dark Knight Rises'…Pete Foley is among the only characters to grow in the whole movie. Bruce Wyane, Bane, Catwoman, Gordon, and most every other character in the film is basically the same at the end as they were at the beginning. Their circumstances change sure. But most got what they were after, and whatever was learned reinforced their existing character type.
The ones who changed was one person masquerading as good who turned out to be bad. And Foley, who appeared to be a selfish foil, learned something and proved to be selfless. Matthew Modine did a fine job, but in the end the character, not performer, is what drew me in.
Pete Foley represents the best and worst about modernizing police. He's arrogant, and can treat police work like politics. But at the core had a genuine interest in what was best for his city, and a desire to stay by his friends.
In 'Batman Begins' the corrupt detective Flass extorts bribes with impunity, even with Jim Gordon riding shotgun. Gordon complains that if he wanted to report Flass he wouldn't know who in the Gotham Police was legitimate enough to report him to.
In 'The Dark Knight' the death of Rachel Dawes hinges not just one the machination of the Joker and organized crime, but on the complicity of corrupt cops Wertz and Ramirez. The GCPD is shown as an institution truly grappling with its own corruption and legitimacy, Batman, Gordon and Harvey Dent represent that struggle.
By 'TDKR' the police in Gotham are depicted as trusted and mostly competent. One could guess that Gordon's guilt over the coverup of Dent's death pushed him to be even more zealous in pursuit of justice and accountability for his department and organized crime. John Blake and Jim Gordon are clever, dogged investigators, most other GCPD officers are depicted as decent cops. The only other officer with any gray about him is Pete Foley.
In fact his greatest concerns are often the safety of other officers and the city. He fails to rush more officers into the sewers not because he hates Commissioner Gordon, but because he's sincerely concerned about performing a rescue safely. He chases the Batman and not Bane because not only is he seeking to avenge Dent's death, but also because he appreciates how dangerous Batman can be (taking down entire SWAT teams in the previous film). Foley is foolish, but only the audience (and inexplicably Blake) understand that.
In the end Foley takes Gordon's guilt trip to heart and really steps up when Gotham need him. Yes, once freed, the cops were plenty pissed and didn't need a leader (more than Batman) to get them going. But having one helped. Foley takes the first step to advance on the bad guys. He likely knew it would kill him, and it did.
Pete Foley doesn't represent the very best, but he represents the finest, Gotham police reaching towards ideal justice. That's the reason he's a character worth copying.
Keep your eye out for me in this year's RPF Costume Contest...