Nominally, the Police were punk rock, but that's only in the loosest sense of the term. The trio's nervous, reggae-injected pop/rock was punky, but it wasn't necessarily punk. All three members were considerably more technically proficient than the average punk or new wave band.
The Police formed their unique pop rock style in the latter-punk era. Three talented, intelligent musicians came together from a cross-section of musical and life experiences into a distinct sound that became both popular and respected. Following the band's break-up in the mid-1980s, each member moved on to his own new and successful career. Charles Dougherty summed up the band's commercial appeal in Down Beat, "The key to their popularity is self-evident; catchy melodic hooks combined with matinee idol good looks make the teenies screamy." The Police are notable as one of the first mainstream white pop groups to adopt reggae as a predominant musical form and to score major international hits with reggae-styled material. Although reggae was already very popular in the United Kingdom (due to the large number of Caribbean immigrants) the style was little known in the United States or other countries, and prior to the emergence of the Police only a handful of reggae songs had enjoyed any significant chart success.
Following their whirlwind success of 1980 and 1981, in which they were named the Best British Group at the first Brit Awards and won three Grammys, the band took a break in 1982. Though they played their first arena concerts and headlined the U.S. Festival, each member pursued side projects during the course of the year. Sting acted in Brimstone and Treacle, releasing a solo single, "Spread a Little Happiness," from the soundtrack; the song became a British hit. Copeland scored Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish, as well as the San Francisco Ballet's King Lear, and released an album under the name Klark Kent; he also played on several sessions for Peter Gabriel. Summers recorded an instrumental album, I Advance Masked, with Robert Fripp. The Police returned in the summer of 1983 with Synchronicity, which entered the U.K. charts at number one and quickly climbed to the same position in the U.S., where it would stay for 17 weeks. Synchronicity became a blockbuster success on the strength of the ballad "Every Breath You Take." Spending eight weeks at the top of the U.S. charts, "Every Breath You Take" became one of the biggest American hits of all time; it spent four weeks at the top of the U.K. charts. "King of Pain" and "Wrapped Around Your Finger" became hits over the course of 1983, sending Synchronicity to multi-platinum status in America and Britain. The Police supported the album with a blockbuster, record-breaking world tour that set precedents for tours for the remainder of the '80s. Once the tour was completed, the band announced they were going on "sabbatical" in order to pursue outside interests.
In 1992 the band released “Message in a Box”, their 4 CD box set, and performed at Sting’s wedding to Trudie Styler. A live CD was released in June 1995. On March 10, 2003 The Police were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and performed Message in a Bottle, Roxanne and Every Breath You Take.
The Police reformed in 2007, and opened the Grammy award ceremony of that year with a performance of Roxanne. Towards the end of May, the band began a world tour. In 2008 the tour ended at Madison Square Garden, New York, on August 7, and The Police disbanded for good. Sting has been quoted towards the end of the tour that he has achieved closure with the band, and revealed that The Police will never tour or record again.