Dragnet, February 3, 1967

“All at once, you’ve lost your name. You’re a “cop,” a “flatfoot,” “John Law.” You’re “the fuzz,” “the heat,” you’re bad news. They call you everything but never a policeman. Then there is your first night on the beat… you’ll rub elbows with all the elite: pimps, addicts, thieves, bums, winos, cheats, con men, the class of Skid Row. You’ll walk the beat and pick up the pieces. You’ll do time in the patrol car and get an “unknown trouble” call… never knowing who you’ll meet… a kid with a knife… a pillhead with a gun… two ex-cons with nothing to lose. As a detective… you’ll have few facts and a lot of hunches… you’ll work stakeouts that could last a week… you’ll run down leads that dead-end… do legwork until you’re sure you’ve talked to everybody in California… people who saw it happen but really didn’t… people who don’t remember… those who try to forget… those who tell the truth… those who lie. There are over five thousand men in this city who know that being a policeman is an endless, glamourless, thankless job that must be done. I know it too. And I’m damned glad to be one of them.“

—Sergeant Joe Friday

Episode: “The Interrogation”
Written by: Preston Wood (1923–2011)

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