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William W. Wilhelm

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William W. Wilhelm was a motorcycle officer for the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1950s and 1960s.  His book, Code Two and a Half “offers a fascinating look at the career of an LAPD motor officer during the fifties and sixties, through boredom, tickets, riots and earthquakes. Take a trip down the highway with Bill Wilhelm - his nostalgic memoir shows there's not all that much difference between patrolling on a Harley in Los Angeles and patrolling on a subway train in New York City.”  According to retired Chief of Police, Melvin W. Mouser, “Bill's short stories as a motor officer for the LAPD are an historical account of man against machine, odds and circumstances. To have ridden a million-plus miles...is a tribute to the grit and dedication of those road warriors of the era.”

Code Two 'n a Half
William, W Wilhelm  More Info

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.

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