Police Books

Thomas J. Hays

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About the Los Angeles Police Department 

In February 1955, the Los Angeles Police Department, through the pages of the internally produced BEAT magazine, conducted a contest for a motto for the police academy. The conditions of the contest stated that: “The motto should be one that in a few words would express some or all the ideals to which the Los Angeles police service is dedicated. It is possible that the winning motto might someday be adopted as the official motto of the Department.” The winning entry was the motto, “To Protect and to Serve” submitted by Officer Joseph S. Dorobek.

 

“To Protect and to Serve” became the official motto of the Police Academy, and it was kept constantly before the officers in training as the aim and purpose of their profession. With the passing of time, the motto received wider exposure and acceptance throughout the department. On November 4, 1963, the Los Angeles City Council passed the necessary ordinance and the credo has now been placed alongside the City Seal on the Departments patrol cars.

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.”

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