Officer Tenpenny in GTA San Andreas: All you need to know

Unforgettable character and actor (Image via
Unforgettable character and actor (Image via

Officer Tenpenny will always be remembered as one of the iconic villains of the GTA franchise. His position has also been immortalized by Samuel L. Jackson voicing the character.

Tenpenny plays a huge role in GTA San Andreas as one of the most well-known antagonists throughout the story. He is intricately tied to the plot. From the meeting at the start of the game to numerous missions until the end, Officer Frank Tenpenny was lousy news for CJ and GTA players.

Understanding Tenpenny's role in GTA San Andreas


Officer Tenpenny is the first antagonist in the game that CJ meets. They know each other from the past due to Tenpenny's association with the Grove Street Families and other gangs. Tenpenny is known to squeeze gangsters for a share of their profits. He does drugs and is a violent individual. He is the worst embodiment of a police officer.

Tenpenny was involved in the Ballas killing CJ and Sweet's mother, Beverly. He is the main reason CJ returned to Grove Street. Tenpenny is also to blame for Big Smoke and Ryder betraying CJ.

Officer Tenpenny is the apparent leader of C.R.A.S.H. (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) in GTA San Andreas. This is almost like Tenpenny's gang made up of corrupt cops. Officers Pulaski, Pendelbury, and Hernandez are the other members of Tenpenny's corrupt police team.

Tenpenny and his "gang" tried to control CJ and other members of Grove Street against their will throughout the whole game. On one occasion, the iconic villain said:

"Intimidate those who intimidate others, Carl. It's my job.”

While Tenpenny turns the Grove Street gang against each other, he works with Ballas, Ryder, and Big Smoke. Tenpenny cooks up these schemes to push the gangs into peddling more dangerous drugs. He is the main reason for most gang violence and drug issues plaguing CJ and his friends in GTA San Andreas.

Tenpenny dumps Carl in the countryside to kill an FBI informant after the 'Green Sabre' mission. He threatens that something terrible will happen to Sweet if anything happens to Big Smoke.

CJ was routinely coerced into carrying out assignments by Officer Tenpenny while outside Los Santos. The only good thing Tenpenny inadvertently does is introduce CJ to The Truth.


After CJ takes out officer Pulaski, a riot breaks out in the city. With mobs burning homes and exploding cars, the NPCs go mad and push widespread violence. All this chaos can be tied back to Tenpenny.

Tenpenny's demise


The end for Tenpenny was near when he tried to force CJ to carry out an order under threat of being framed for Pendelbury's murder. GTA fans will remember the mission 'End Of The Line' where they came up against Tenpenny for the last time. He tries to escape the scene by fleeing in a fire truck, but Sweet jumps on the vehicle. CJ must follow the truck to save his brother.

Not long after CJ rescued Sweet, Officer Tenpenny drove off a bridge and crashed into the middle of Grove Street. His final speech was akin to Denzel Washington's dialog in the movie Training Day. The brothers walk away from Tenpenny's crash site in the street as the chapter ends. It's a fitting end to an iconic GTA villain.

This article reflects the opinions of the writer.

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Edited by Srijan Sen
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