Police Television Shows
Past and Present
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Any person considering a police career
today has been influenced by television.  
As things go, television hasn't been
around that long, but its impact was
immediate and everlasting.   

My most vivid memory of my first
exposure to television occurred on
October 22, 1962 as I sat on the living
room floor in front of our brand new –
used – floor model TV with a 10 inch
screen – black and white obviously – and
watched President John F. Kennedy utter
these words,

"Good evening, my fellow citizens. This
Government, as promised, has
maintained the closest surveillance of the
Soviet military build-up on the island of
Cuba. Within the past week unmistakable
evidence has established..."

All too soon, the next most vivid memory
occurred only a year later as I watched
the news coverage of President
Kennedy's assassination in Dallas,
Texas.  I then watched the live coverage
as Jack Ruby murdered the President's
assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.  Thirty-
eight years later, I'd watch live coverage
of terrorists crashing a passenger jet
into the second tower of the World Trade
The Influence of Television
by Barry M. Baker
There's no question that television has,
and will continue to have, tremendous
influence on American society.  In the
beginning, television took its lead from
the culture.  Today, the culture is
increasingly taking its lead from
television.  Make no mistake, aside from
public education, television is the most
effective tool for the dissemination of
propaganda ever devised by man.  

As a person considering a career in police
work, television is an excellent training
tool for the development of your
investigative abilities.  From the news to
entertainment and right on through the
commercials, the messages and – clues –
are everywhere.  Some are obvious and
others subliminal.  Obviously... the
subliminal political and societal messages
are the ones you want to detect and

When you become a police officer, you'll
quickly learn that people rarely ever tell
the truth and nothing but the truth.  
Sometimes peoples' versions of the truth
simply exist in their interpretation of
events and circumstances, or they just
simply lie.  Events and circumstances
depicted on television follow pretty much
the same path.  How many times have
you watched a reporter using the term
"Taser related death" when reporting that
a suspect died after being tasered by
police?  You never see any follow-up
reporting on the death, because the
cause of death is always determined to
be a physical condition unrelated to the
Taser incident.  Even so, there exists
organized propaganda claiming that
hundreds of deaths have occurred as a
direct result of Taser use.  
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Copyright © 2021  Barry M. Baker  
Cops (stylized as COPS) is an American
documentary / reality legal series that follows
police officers, constables, sheriff's deputies,
federal agents and state troopers during
patrols and other police activities including
prostitution and narcotics stings. It is one of
the longest-running television programs in the
United States and, as of May 2011, the
longest-running show on Fox, following the
cancellation of America's Most Wanted after 23
This is a list of police television programs.
Dramas involving police procedural work, and
private detectives, secret agents, and the
justice system have been a mainstay of
broadcast television since the early days of
broadcasting. Shows that are not dramatic
programming are indicated (e.g. reality
television, comedy or comedy-drama).
Police Shows
Becoming a Police Officer
An Insider's Guide to a Career
in Law Enforcement
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