At the end of May, people around the nation will pause on Memorial Day and remember the brave soldiers who in service to their country, made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our sacred freedoms.
But two weeks before that, on May 15, another day of remembrance will be observed. It’s called Peace Officers Memorial Day, and it’s a time set aside to pay tribute to the policemen and policewomen who died or were disabled, in the line of duty.
One of the most well-known supporters of peace officers spent his career writing, producing, and acting on radio and television presenting the stories of peace officers with great accuracy and detail, mostly focused on stories from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
His radio program debuted on NBC Radio in 1949 and ran through 1957. In 1952, it was launched on television by NBC and he played the main character. He focused on realism and wanted to portray the police as working-class heroes.
You may recall the famous opening of the television program which began with the narration: “Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.” It was followed by, “This is the city: Los Angeles, California.”
He was Jack Webb, who played Sgt. Joe Friday in the popular television series Dragnet. Webb passed away on December 23, 1982, at age 62. He earned two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for radio and one for television. He was buried at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills with full LAPD honors. In fact, Chief Daryl Gates announced that badge number 714—the one used by Friday in Dragnet, would be officially retired. All flags at City Hall were lowered to half-staff that day, in honor of a man who devoted his life to telling the real stories of the heroes who help keep the peace.