Better And Better

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Monday, March 31, 2008

Distraction: Anthropology of policing

A guilty pleasure that I ran across recently is Hulu's webhosting of the first two seasons of Adam 12.

The Jack Webb-directed police procedural was set in what was then modern-day Los Angeles, in 1968. My father started police work about this same time. Radio cars were still a fairly new thing. Portable radios were almost never carried by officers. Intermediate force options were limited to hand-to-hand techniques and the batons that they took off and put back on their belts as they entered and exited the cars. Uniforms looked great, partly because they were worn without vests. One pair of handcuffs each. 6" K .38s carried in drop holsters on pivots with minimal retention. The patrol car in the first episode was a 1967 Plymouth Belvedere 383. No cell phones. No mobile video. Book-in apparently took minutes.

Police work was different, then. It's fun to watch it to compare the differences between then and now, and between big city policing with a tall command structure, and little podunk towns with a very flat command structure.

I watched this show as a little bitty kid, about the time it went into syndication (1975). I can't deny that it probably was part of the conglomeration of things that affected my subconscious, factoring into my eventual decision to become a police officer.

Officers were expected to be knowledgeable and courteous to the citizenry. Professionalism was the highest goal. Service to the uniform was tantamount to service to the community. Thus the ideals were ones that any officer can still appreciate.

Fun stuff, which tempts me away from writing the paper I'm working on. But oy! Their pat-down and handcuff procedures drive me nuts.

(Scroll down to the bottom of the page to look through the forty-eight 25 minute episodes.)

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6 Comments:

At Monday, March 31, 2008 12:19:00 PM, Blogger Not Afraid to Use It said...

I just discovered Hulu last week so Hubbie could catch up on the New Amsterdam episodes. GREAT website. I am glad you found something fun to watch.

 
At Monday, March 31, 2008 2:05:00 PM, Blogger Assrot said...

Yep, I loved this old show. I used to watch it all the time when I was a young buck.

I remember it like it was yesterday. This show came out just before I went to boot camp.

I watched the reruns for years after I finished my tour of duty.

Man thinking about this really brings back some great memories as well as some bad ones.

There was alot of civil unrest in this country back then and America hated its own soldiers.

"One Adam 12, see the man at ...."

Good old show Matt. I wonder if it still runs on the TV Land channel. I'll have to check that out now that you have piqued my interest.

Joe

 
At Monday, March 31, 2008 2:28:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Joe, if you go to the link that I put on the top of the post, you can actually watch each of the first 48 episodes for free.

 
At Monday, March 31, 2008 4:58:00 PM, Blogger kvegas911 said...

Looking for the box set in DVD....hoping it exists! Emergency, too.....

 
At Monday, March 31, 2008 6:43:00 PM, Blogger phlegmfatale said...

I watched this show as a kid, which I suppose was a little odd for a girl, but I really, rilly liked it. I thought Kent McCord was super-cute! (but that's not why I watched, seriously. *ahem*) Anyway, at a family reunion about three years ago, I found out that Kent McCord is a distant relative, we being descended of one John McCord from Skye who fought at Killicrankie. Considering the fatal crush and my Ozark provenance, this new information elicted a rather icky feeling as memories of "family trees with no branches" jokes came to mind. I was just a kid. 'twere merely a-- ah, uh, nevermind.

 
At Monday, March 31, 2008 8:07:00 PM, Blogger phlegmfatale said...

Um, normally, I can spell Killiecrankie. Don't know what happened there. I blame Sid & Marty Krofft.

 

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