As I sat streaming the 70s-themed episode of Castle, I'm guessing that when Esposito told Ryan he was watching a documentary about two bad-ass cops for period research, a lot of people thought of Starksy & Hutch, especially considering the costume, their car and the way one glided down the hood, but what not everyone knows is that Starsky and Hutch were at least partially inspired by a "true story" which had been immortalized in a book and on film.
The Super Cops was the story of New York police officers, later detectives, who pulled no punches and used unorthodox methods to clean up the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, battling corruption along the way. By the time they became famous, David Greenberg and Robert Hantz had made more than 660 arrests in four years with a 97% conviction rate. A big part of of their focus was on narcotics which did not include marijuana, the were more concerned with harder drugs. Perhaps this was understandable, considering that Hantz was eventually fired for possessing four joints while on vacation, while Greenberg became a New York Assemblyman before being convicted of fraud.
There are a couple of clips from the film directed by Gordon Parks (Shaft), starring Ron Leibman and David Selby available on YouTube, but maybe none gives a greater feel for the picture than this tribute to the film's score.
I don't know if he was being tongue-in-cheek, but even if he wasn't entirely serious, you get a glimpse of their attitude and how they did business from a quote in the wire story about the agreement over film rights.
Around the time L. H. Whittemore's book was released, Julie Baumgold wrote a long and extensive profile for New York Magazine which helped cement them as "Batman & Robin" in popular culture, touched upon the bidding war for the film rights and went into a good deal of detail about their methods of policing, the numerous investigations which had been launched against them and their threatened indictments.