The police are referred to as "5-0" based on the title of an elite police unit in the popular crime drama "Hawaii 5-0". The show ran from 1968 to 1980. The "5-0" crime-fighting team was well-recognized and popular with viewers.
The original "Hawaii 5-0" series was known for the theme song, the glimpses of exotic Hawaiian locales and the ongoing triumph of good over evil. Led by Jack Lord as the unflappable detective Steve McGarrett, the "5-0" unit cleaned up the criminal underworld, making Hawaii safer for its citizens. The longevity and popularity of the show made "5-0" a household term.