I became an LAPD cop for one reason. I watched Jack Webb portraying Joe Friday in the television show, Dragnet. Webb’s monotone monologues about the evils going on in the City of Los Angeles and his declaration of: “That’s when I go to work, and I carry a badge,” let me know that before the half-hour was over somebody would be going to jail.
Each week I watched Joe Friday and his partner, Bill Gannon round up burglars, robbers and rowdy kids. But for me, the best part of the show was when the suspect would give Friday some attitude, and he’d come out with his verbal guns blazing. You knew when Joe got to lecturing the bad guy in his machine-gun- style speech the crook was going to be standing in the ‘line-up of shame’ at the end of the show. You remember; that’s when the announcer came on in a voice- over and told the viewer that the bad guy was sentenced to 4 years for Petty Theft or some other minor crime.
Side note: Those kinds of sentences aren’t handed out anymore – if they were, maybe we wouldn’t be paying such high prices in stores to make up for all the shoplifting that goes on. (Sorry, couldn’t resist my soapbox)
Anyway, I liked how Joe Friday and his partner let people know why their crimes hurt society, put those people away so they couldn’t continue their wrong-doing , and made the city safer…all in a half-hour.
So Joe Friday and Dragnet is why I became a cop. But that’s a cop show from a long time ago. Today’s cop shows are faster paced and certainly show the violence officers and detectives can face on the streets.
Do you like the older police stories: The Andy Griffith Show, Highway Patrol, Police Story, The FBI, Starsky and Hutch, etc.?
Or…do you prefer the newer shows: Law and Order, CSI, Southland, The Closer, Castle, et al?
Until next time…