Police Story (USA, 1973-1977) - Police Story is
an anthology television crime drama that aired
on NBC from 1973 through 1978. The show
was the brainchild of author and former
policeman Joseph Wambaugh and
represented a major step forward in the
realistic depiction of police work and violence
on network TV.  
Police Woman (USA, 1974-1978) - Police
Woman was an American television police
drama starring Angie Dickinson that ran from
September 13, 1974 to March 29, 1978 on
NBC. It is not only considered to be the first
successful series to focus on a female police
officer, but also the first successful primetime
drama series to feature a woman in the title
role.  The show revolved around Sgt. Leanne
"Pepper" Anderson (Angie Dickinson), an
undercover agent working for the Criminal
Conspiracy Unit of the LAPD. Sergeant William
"Bill" Crowley (Earl Holliman) was her
immediate superior, and Pete Royster (Charles
Dierkop) and Joe Styles (Ed Bernard) were the
other half of the undercover team that
investigated everything from murders to rape
and drug crimes. In many episodes, Pepper
went undercover (as a prostitute, teacher,
nurse, dancer, waitress, etc.) in order to get
close enough to the suspects to gain valuable
information that will lead to their arrest.  
Compassionate Cops
A recurring theme in police television
dramas is the compassion shown by
police officers toward victims and others
with whom they come into contact.  
There’s nothing wrong with a police
officer showing compassion or having
empathy with others – just as long as

it’s not overdone.

When it comes to television, it usually is
overdone.  In reality, a police officer has
to guard against becoming too intimate
with other peoples’ problems.  For
example, in a police show, a detective
may take a runaway teenager home to
avoiding placing the kid into an
overcrowded juvenile justice system.  If
you were to do something similar, you
could very well find yourself under
investigation or even indicted for any
number of allegations.
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Police Shows
Police Television Shows
Past and Present
Page 8
PERSON OF INTEREST stars Jim Caviezel,
Emmy Award winner Michael Emerson and
Academy Award nominee Taraji P.
Henson in a crime thriller about a
presumed dead former-CIA agent, Reese,
who teams up with a mysterious
billionaire, Finch, to prevent violent crimes
by using their own brand of vigilante
justice. Reese's special training in covert
operations appeals to Finch, a software
genius who invented a program that uses
pattern recognition to identify people
about to be involved in violent crimes.
Using state-of-the-art surveillance
technology, the two work outside of the
law, using Reese's adept skills and
Finch's unlimited wealth to unravel the
mystery of the "person of interest" and
stop the crime before it happens. Reese's
actions draw the attention of the NYPD,
including homicide detective Carter, and
Fusco, a cop whom Reese uses to his
advantage. With infinite crimes to
investigate, Reese and Finch find that the
right person, with the right information,
at the right time, can change everything.
Of course, the television cops have plenty
of relationship problems of their own that
affect their on duty behavior.  When this
occurs, other police officers and
supervisors go way out of their way to
accommodate the officer with problems.  
Again – there’s reality.  It’s not like it use
to be.  Current political correctness has
made it very difficult to informally address
personal problem issues within the

You’re going to work with police officers
who think you need to be accepting of
their personal issues even if those issues
negatively affect their work performance.  
There’s not a whole lot you’ll be able to
do to change their attitudes.  The thing
on which you should concentrate is not
becoming one of those officers.
by Barry M. Baker

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