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.)