Episode 447 – Your Police Force in Action (Dragnet)

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By Jack Mooney and Mean Streets Podcasts. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Dragnet was an immensely popular radio, and later TV, series that entertained millions of Americans each week for over a decade. It was also strictly overseen by LAPD Chief William H. Parker, who made sure the show painted his department in the best light and glossed over its abuses of power. In the wake of calls for police reform and the systemic racism in law enforcement, it can be tough to separate the procedural storytelling elements from its role as propaganda, but we'll try as we listen to three episodes: "The Big Evans" (originally aired on NBC on March 6, 1952); "The Big Bobo" (originally aired on NBC on July 19, 1955); and "The Big Ruling" (originally aired on NBC on September 6, 1955).

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