"Batman Family," (or Bat Family, Batsquad) is the informal name for a group of characters closely associated with Batman, generally costumed vigilantes who either have been trained by Batman or operate in Gotham City with his tacit approval. The group functions like a tactical unit of similarly-minded superheroes who operate in and around Gotham, with Batman as its team leader and, in many cases, its dispatch. Various members of the group are usually seen interacting with one another and assisting in each others cases, even within their respective series. Although some members occasionally resent Batman’s intrusion into their lives, all respect him as a legend within the superhero community and rarely dare to challenge his authority. Most of the members also have a strong rapport with the Dark Knight due to their long and close relationships with him over the years, and consider him a close friend and ally, and acknowledge that he most likely shares that sentiment, no matter how adverse he is to actually showing it. In a 2002 storyline in which Bruce Wayne is accused of murder, Batman's friends gather to prove his innocence. It has also been implied through Batman's history that this network serves as a surrogate family for Batman and keeps him from slipping too far into his ruthless vigilante persona.