...but this was virtually an all-male enclave (as Linda Lavin and Barbara Barrie were the only females ever credited in the opening titles).
Still, the ensemble, revolving around Hal Linden's title character, had plenty to do, and plenty of opportunity to shine. Yes, the stories were sometimes offbeat (werewolves in Greenwich Village? deaf prostitutes? a sanitation officer shooting at someone for dropping a candy wrapper?), but this demonstrated the real secret of the show - the various characters that passed through the 12th Precinct that interacted with the detectives there.
The sardonic humor that permeated the show (as the fog did in one very classic episode) didn't hurt either. Sure, there was no Judi Dench caliber performances - but Barney Miller didn't need any, as its ensemble was a bit deeper.