It's a cop show, but it's a funny cop show. Stories surrounding cops and the daily pains of their job (arresting criminals, endless paperwork etc) are given a much darker light these days with shows like The Chicago Code and Southland. Barney Miller treated life as a cop as being a bit of a day with The Marx Brothers with touches of drama sprinkled in for realism.
For those of you who want a laugh in these uncertain times, you can watch the show on Crackle (which carries the first two seasons). You can also get the first three seasons on DVD from Amazon (or Netflix). The clothes may be dated, and the times have changed since it's original run. One thing that hasn't changed however is the most essential thing that makes me watch this.