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Arthur W. Sjoquist

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Arthur W. Sjoquist and Thomas G. Hays are retired Captains from the Los Angeles Police Department as well as members of the Los Angeles Police Department Historical Society Board. They are co-authors of a pictorial look at the Los Angeles Police Department.


According to the book description of Images of America: Los Angeles Police Department, “No police force in history has gained as much fame and notoriety as the Los Angeles Police Department. The acronym LAPD is practically synonymous with the idea of professional law enforcement. The men in blue who patrol Hollywood and the sprawling metropolis of L.A. have been investigated by screenwriters more times than vice versa. With more than 9,300 sworn officers today, the LAPD endures seemingly endless controversies and media circuses. But then there’s the other side of L.A.’s protective shield—the story of the force’s evolution alongside the spectacular growth of its unique melting-pot city. This book’s rare and often never-before-published photographs focus on that side: the excitement, danger, tragedy, and comedy of everyday beat cops and workaday detectives—with concessions to their limelight representations, including Jack Webb’s Dragnet and Adam-12.”

One reader of the Los Angeles Police Department said, “The photos in this book are amazing! They tell a fair and balanced story, including the good and the bad. Plus, the captions give more than just the typical i.d. info -- they tell a bit of the story behind each image. There's also a well-written historical section at the beginning. Definitely one of the best histories of the LAPD ever.”

From the History of the Los Angeles Police Department (lapdonline.org)

By the early 1900s the population of the City had increased to more than 100,000, with fewer than 70 officers struggling to maintain the peace. They were largely occupied in keeping violence and traffic under some semblance of control but an additional problem added to their difficulties. Heavy-handed machine politics had entered the picture and would remain for years to come. The Mayor’s office assumed increasing control of the Department and its policies. This accounts, at least in part, for the appointment of 16 Chiefs between 1900 and 1923. Political interference, however, did not prevent the start of Civil Service in 1903, and, in response to citizen demands, the increase in sworn personnel to 200. The gambling and vice of the 1850’s still prevailed, reduced at times by reformers only to be restored when powerful private interests in one way or another bought official protection.

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