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Thursday, April 14, 2022

LAPD Chief William H. Parker (1905-1966)

Appointed Chief of the Los Angeles Police in 1950, William Parker quickly imposed an authoritarian management style that resembled J. Edgar Hoover's leadership of the FBI. He cleaned up the notoriously corrupt department and developed a highly militaristic style of policing that emphasized aggressive crime-fighting. He portrayed the police as the thin blue line between civilization and chaos. Also like Hoover, he was a master of public relations and helped create the popular television show Dragnet, which projected a national image of the Los Angeles police as relentlessly efficient. Sergeant Joe Friday's favorite line, "Just the facts, ma'am," became a popular cliche. [Parker was chief of police for 16 years.]

Samuel Walker, Popular Justice: A History of American Criminal Justice, 1998

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