"Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent..." One of the most popular police dramas in the history of broadcasting, Dragnet aired on NBC Radio from June 10, 1949 through February 7, 1957 and on television from 1952-59 and 1967-72. Dragnet introduced a new era of documentary-style realism. "We try to make cops human beings. We try to combine the best qualities of the men I’ve seen downtown, incorporate their way of speaking, make a composite." Jack Webb and Dragnet were strong supporters of police departments; following Webb’s death December 23, 1982, the LAPD ordered flags flown at half-mast and permanently retired Joe Friday’s badge number 714.
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