Law & Order: Special Victims Unit chronicles the life and crimes of the elite Special Victims Unit of the NYPD. The show stars Christopher Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, Dann Florek, Richard Belzer, Dean Winters, and Michelle Hurd. The series follows Detective Elliott Stabler (Meloni) and his partner Olivia Benson (Hargitay). Overseeing the unit is Captain Donald Cragen (Florek). Also joining the unit is a familiar face from NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street — Detective John Munch, played by the wisecracking Belzer. Munch brings his acerbic wit and street-honed investigative skills to the squad. Rounding out the team is Munch's partner, Detective Brian Cassidy (Winters), an enthusiastic newcomer, and Detective Monique Jeffries (Hurd), a young, attractive African-American woman, an aggressive member of the Special Victims Unit. Each episode features a new case to solve, new victims to console as well as the constant struggle for the detective to juggle the emotional toll of the job and the pressure it puts on their personal lives.