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astro
12-02-2015, 01:58 AM
Listened to about 20 1948-1950 radio shows so far at the Internet Archive. (https://archive.org/details/Dragnet_OTR) Here is what I have learned so far.

Los Angeles is hot, sometimes humid, sometimes warm

Cars needed to lubed monthly

Lots of middle class people, even married couples, lived in cheap hotels and boarding rooms

People smoked everywhere

Los Angeles High schools had lunch counters and soda bars

No Miranda warnings

"Mind if we look around" request always OK'd by even the guiltiest suspect

No one lawyered up … ever

People made a decent living giving shoe shines

"Store Charge plates (http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-collectible-coins-charge-plate-1264.php)" preceded credit cards and were made of metal

Checking partial license plate numbers took dozens of policemen weeks of man work

IBM computer reading punch cards was the height of technology

Full lunches with dessert and soda were incredibly cheap at .65 to 1.00

Mink coats were oddly expensive at $ 5000

Cigarettes were a BFD

Police were always scrounging for change to make paid telephone calls out in the field

Smoking almost considered a positive habit people were proud of

“Signed statements” were a big deal for cigarette product testimonials

Marijuana would make you go crazy and drive fast and kill yourself

There were no black people in Los Angeles

Did I mention about cigarettes?

movingfinger
12-02-2015, 02:23 AM
As someone who grew up in LA in those years and always listened to Dragnet...it's all true, except the part about high school lunch counters and soda bars. At least not at my high school (Alexander Hamilton, a red brick monster on Robertson Blvd, still visible from the 10 freeway near Culver City).

Lunch counters?

astro
12-02-2015, 02:31 AM
Long distance calls were a real BFD. Calls would take minutes to connect, required multiple operators, and had to be pre-cleared with the police department business office.

Two entire minutes of air time was devoted to just the connection procedure in this show. Show # 19 Mother In Law Murder - 2:18 - 4:18.

It's actually quite fascinating to listen to.

GuanoLad
12-02-2015, 02:52 AM
If it was called "Mother in Law Murder" doesn't that give away who did it?

guizot
12-02-2015, 04:41 AM
If there is some really important crime, it gets called in on a "hot shot line"

Joe Friday lives with his mother.

Witnesses are constitutionally slow-witted and naive.

astro
12-02-2015, 08:46 AM
If it was called "Mother in Law Murder" doesn't that give away who did it?
Not really check out the episode

Johnny Angel
12-02-2015, 08:54 AM
I can't remember whether it was on the radio show or the early TV version where they talked about coffee to go as a novelty, calling it "coffee in a paper carton".

terentii
12-02-2015, 09:04 AM
I can't remember whether it was on the radio show or the early TV version where they talked about coffee to go as a novelty, calling it "coffee in a paper carton".

Hell, Eliot Ness and his crew were drinking such coffee in the original Untouchables (1959). Was that an anachronism? :dubious: :confused:

TV time
12-02-2015, 09:17 AM
As someone who grew up in LA in those years and always listened to Dragnet...it's all true, except the part about high school lunch counters and soda bars. At least not at my high school (Alexander Hamilton, a red brick monster on Robertson Blvd, still visible from the 10 freeway near Culver City).

Lunch counters?I can't speak to high school since I was in junior high...actually it was a 1st through 8th grade school. And in Long Beach, but we had a concession stand type thing that we bought alternative food to the school lunches and they would even punch our lunch tickets for payment. I used to almost daily buy two tamales, an RC Cola and two red twists (which I used as straws in the RCs) which all together cost about 50 cents.

mhendo
12-02-2015, 09:31 AM
Something I learned from Dragnet:

The Los Angeles Police Department was NOT filled with corrupt racist assholes who would plant evidence, steal from crime scenes, frame innocent people, cooperate with organized crime figures, and beat the living shit out of "suspects" (especially blacks and Latinos) at the drop of a hat.

If there were any problems in the force, it was only one or two bad apples, who were quickly weeded out and thrown off the force, with no cover-ups and no blue wall.

madsircool
12-02-2015, 10:49 AM
The LAPD really didnt cooperate with organized crime. U are thinking of LASD.

RealityChuck
12-02-2015, 03:18 PM
One of the joys of Dragnet is its dialog. People would go off on tangents -- for several lines of dialog -- that has nothing to do with plot or character. But it worked.

Johnny Angel
12-02-2015, 03:22 PM
Hell, Eliot Ness and his crew were drinking such coffee in the original Untouchables (1959). Was that an anachronism? :dubious: :confused:
Worth checking out. According to Wikipedia, paper cups have been in use in America since 1908 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_cup). So the unusual description given in the show that suggested to me they were grasping with a novel concept I must now chalk up to Jack Webb's writing, which in many ways I adore but not without a high degree of irony.

Recenlty, I started listening to other old radio shows on Archive.org and discovered that when I had ventured into that before I was getting very lucky with my picks. Dragnet is actually a very good example of the genre, and I actually thought the old Burns and Allen show reminded me of Seinfeld. But when we sneer these days at the cliche of the wisecracking detective, we as a culture have forgotten how the most famous examples, Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade for example, were rising above a standard of wisecracking that was just execrable. Boston Blackie and Philo Vance gave excruciatingly smug rejoinders to things nobody would say if they weren't setting up smug rejoinders. And that banter was different only in tone, not in quality and timing, from the kind of wisecracking you got in Duffy's Tavern.

One nice thing about Dragnet, for what it's worth, is that Friday's oven painful attempts at wit are only once or twice per episode and they are set up and hung with flags right before the epilogue or start of a new act. Like so:

Friday: [Loaded question]?
Straight man: [Takes the bait]
Friday: [Stinging comment].
[Theme blares]

mhendo
12-02-2015, 05:04 PM
The LAPD really didnt cooperate with organized crime. U are thinking of LASD.Nope, thinking of the LAPD.

Admittedly, by the 1950s the LAPD actually began to take organized crime seriously, and to actually police it. To that extent, it was not cooperating with organized crime during most of the Dragnet era. This was largely the result of a new commissioner. Before 1950, however, the Department was an enabler of, and sometimes an assistant to, organized crime in the city.

astro
12-04-2015, 01:14 PM
Some additional observations from the latest shows listened to since my original post.

Age 55 to 60 is considered fairly old in the late 40's and early 50's. The voice actors sound like what you'd expect someone in their 70's or 80's to sound like today and they acted quite frail and creaky in their voice characterizations. I'm 57 so this gives me pause. A 62 year old victim of a crime is talking like he's seen it all and is so aged he's not long for this world.

People are always going to out to take in a "show" ie movie in the evening during the weekday or going to a ball game. TV was around but going out to the movies seems a have been a much more regular occurrence than it is today. Going to sporting events is considered a somewhat expensive special event these days, in the 40s' and 50's it was apparently considered affordable everyman entertainment.

Small corner groceries and small services and goods shops of all types are everywhere. This was the pre mall, pre-big box era. People would tell the shop owner to "put it on my bill".

There have been a few Hispanic voices and characters but so far zero black people.

Property insurance companies would personally put pressure on the police department administration to catch thieves.

Insurance policies that were considered to big enough incentives to murder people were in the amounts of $4,000 to $5,000

Thudlow Boink
12-04-2015, 01:28 PM
One of the joys of Dragnet is its dialog. People would go off on tangents -- for several lines of dialog -- that has nothing to do with plot or character. But it worked.I agree.

Jim's Son
12-04-2015, 03:16 PM
Some additional observations from the latest shows listened to since my original post.

Age 55 to 60 is considered fairly old in the late 40's and early 50's. The voice actors sound like what you'd expect someone in their 70's or 80's to sound like today and they acted quite frail and creaky in their voice characterizations. I'm 57 so this gives me pause. A 62 year old victim of a crime is talking like he's seen it all and is so aged he's not long for this world.

People are always going to out to take in a "show" ie movie in the evening during the weekday or going to a ball game. TV was around but going out to the movies seems a have been a much more regular occurrence than it is today. Going to sporting events is considered a somewhat expensive special event these days, in the 40s' and 50's it was apparently considered affordable everyman entertainment.

Small corner groceries and small services and goods shops of all types are everywhere. This was the pre mall, pre-big box era. People would tell the shop owner to "put it on my bill".

There have been a few Hispanic voices and characters but so far zero black people.

Property insurance companies would personally put pressure on the police department administration to catch thieves.

Insurance policies that were considered to big enough incentives to murder people were in the amounts of $4,000 to $5,000


Actually nowadays attendance at baseball games is far higher now than in the late 1940s. Basically attendance boomed after the war for about 4 years and dropped drastically. Brooklyn Dodgers drew 1.8 million in 1947-48 and then dropped averaging 1.0-1.2 million 1950-57. And they were either first or second in attendance most of the time.

Lots of the actors in the various Dragnet series died in their late 50s/early 1960s. Jack Webb was 62, Ben Alexander 58, Barton Yarborough 51, Barney Phillips made it to 69

A number of the Dragnet radio shows at the end had a tribute to a fallen police officer. J Edgar Hoover wanted FBI agents mentioned. Webb said no, do it on your own radio show (This is Your FBI, 1945-53)

Thudlow Boink
12-04-2015, 03:21 PM
People smoked everywhere
...
Did I mention about cigarettes?

Age 55 to 60 is considered fairly old in the late 40's and early 50's. The voice actors sound like what you'd expect someone in their 70's or 80's to sound like today and they acted quite frail and creaky in their voice characterizations. I'm 57 so this gives me pause. A 62 year old victim of a crime is talking like he's seen it all and is so aged he's not long for this world.Maybe there's a connection.

Jim's Son
12-04-2015, 03:54 PM
Concerning the $4000 or $5000 insurance as a motive for murder, in the first episode Webb says his base pay was $358 a month and he never heard of time and a half. My mother once mentioned as a teacher back then she made $68 weekly. A couple years later after she quit, got married and moved the monthly mortgage was $71.

Cigarette consumption was on the rise in 1920s and 1930s but really boomed in World War II. It's declined but sadly our per capita consumption is still higher today than in 1925 (although I suspect cigars and pipes were more widely used then). Years ago "American Heritage" magazine quoted someone who was shown a lung while attending medical school in 1917. "This is lung cancer...you will probably never see it again". 20 years later he saw it for the second time

Starving Artist
12-04-2015, 08:42 PM
According to this page (http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/coverage.htm) from the Dept. of Labor, the minimum wage was was almost doubled in 1949...from 50 cents an hour to 75 cents an hour. So depending on the year of the radio shows people working for minimum wage then were making either $80 a month or $120 a month, so a police sergeant at $358 sounds about right.

dropzone
12-04-2015, 10:30 PM
I learned that, until the show went to TV, Los Angeles was pronounced with a hard G and there were many people in LA with Spanish surnames, including Friday's boss.

Baker
12-04-2015, 10:55 PM
Small corner groceries and small services and goods shops of all types are everywhere. People would tell the shop owner to "put it on my bill".

From 1977 to 1979 I shopped at a small non-chain family run grocery here in Topeka, the last of it's kind locally. They still allowed certain customers to pay monthly. Not just anyone, you had to be a well known to them regular customer. I think most of those customers were elderly folks on Social Security or pensions. Once, after I'd been shopping there a while, I went to write a check and found I didn't have one left, and no cash on hand. I didn't live far, so I said I'd run home and get a new checkbook, come back and pick up the groceries. They said I could take my stuff then! You better believe I got back to pay them ASAP.

In a side note when I first began shopping there I was puzzled by how fast the couple who ran the place moved around. I mean, there were a couple other employees, but the one guy and gal were like quick change artists or something. Turns out it was two married couples, identical twin brothers married to identical twin sisters.

zbuzz
12-04-2015, 11:44 PM
Does the radio show have any of the moralizing like the 1960s TV version has? Or is it straight forward police procedural? I'd love to hear what a 20 years younger Friday has to say about proto-beatniks.

Roderick Femm
12-04-2015, 11:46 PM
There have been a few Hispanic voices and characters but so far zero black people. If it's radio, how can you tell?

madsircool
12-04-2015, 11:47 PM
Does the radio show have any of the moralizing like the 1960s TV version has? Or is it straight forward police procedural? I'd love to hear what a 20 years younger Friday has to say about proto-beatniks.
Tbf police saw the ugly side of the 60s. Its bound to jade most of us.

astro
12-05-2015, 12:59 AM
Does the radio show have any of the moralizing like the 1960s TV version has? Or is it straight forward police procedural? I'd love to hear what a 20 years younger Friday has to say about proto-beatniks.

A few things about kids in the 49-50 Dragnet universe.

The "good kids" in Dragnet were literally "Golly Gee Willikers" stereotypes and would make old school Archie Andrews look like a hardass.

Teenage gangs are mostly all white and were not overtly organized criminal enterprises. They did bad stuff on occasion but it was mostly beating up other rival gang members. All out gang wars were a constant worry.

Parents who coddled and defended their precious flowers enabled all this. And then they would blame the police when their little shits got killed. Dragnet troweled this point on.

Criminal teenagers were sent to some kind of Juvenile camps or farms.

Like today you could charge a under 17 kid as an adult if the crime was serious enough.

The hardcore badun's were back sass machines until someone got killed then they started crying like babies.

Marijuana was killer devil weed.

And yes there were a lot of 60 second Joe Friday threat lectures, but to be fair he has to swallow a boatload of surly teenage back sass before he unleashes.

astro
12-05-2015, 01:05 AM
nm.

astro
12-05-2015, 01:16 AM
Adult actresses doing little girl child voices is a bit painful to listen to but it's OK. The funniest part is when they need background cat, dog or parrot meows, barks or squawks for setting the scene they load up the scene with those noises, these animals yammer away just won't shut up while the humans talk. And these were are not prerecorded tapes of real animals, there were voice actors making those animal sounds.

Ellis Aponte Jr.
12-05-2015, 11:52 AM
Going to sporting events is considered a somewhat expensive special event these days, in the 40s' and 50's it was apparently considered affordable everyman entertainment

Ticket prices for a major league baseball game averaged $1.50 in 1949-50, which adjusted for inflation works out to $15 today. In reality ticket prices average $30 today, so are relatively more expensive (setting aside all the merchandise fans are expected to buy nowadays).

Worth noting that most baseball games were played during the day back then, hence were out of reach of the average 9-to-5 worker on a workday.

LA didn't have any major league baseball team back in 1949-50, so presumably Dragnet characters are going to minor league games, which would be cheaper to attend. LA did have two pro football teams in 1949, the Rams (NFL) and the Dons (AAFC) - googling old ticket stubs indicates that Rams tickets cost $3.60 while Dons tickets cost a mere $1.50.

madsircool
12-05-2015, 02:31 PM
There were the LA Angels who played in a stadium on the current site of the Beverly Center.

NDP
12-05-2015, 07:59 PM
There were the LA Angels who played in a stadium on the current site of the Beverly Center.

You're talking about the old Wrigley Field (Los Angeles) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrigley_Field_(Los_Angeles))right? That was the same stadium where they later shot "Home Run Derby" and where the expansion American League Los Angeles/California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim spent their first season in 1961.

There was also the Hollywood Stars. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Stars) Both teams were in the Pacific Coast League until the Dodgers moved in for the 1958 season.

guizot
12-05-2015, 09:30 PM
You're talking about the old Wrigley Field (Los Angeles) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrigley_Field_(Los_Angeles))right? I don't think so. I believe the Beverly Center was an amusement park before, not a baseball stadium. There was a baseball stadium just east of that location, near the Pan Pacific Auditorium and CBS Television City. Wrigely Field was on Avalon Blvd. (Wrigley also developed Catalina Island, with the city of Avalon.)

guizot
12-05-2015, 09:39 PM
One of the joys of Dragnet is its dialog. People would go off on tangents -- for several lines of dialog -- that has nothing to do with plot or character. But it worked.Yeah, that's what I meant in the post above "by constitutionally slow-witted and naive."

It might've worked back then, but after a while (on the radio show, a least), it gets intrusive, because even back then, I'm sure, you would have some people more keen to the discourse of police questioning than others. It was a heavy-handed way to make the show more "real," contrasting the "average Joe" with the savvy police detective.

Lumpy
12-05-2015, 09:43 PM
Criminal teenagers were sent to some kind of Juvenile camps or farms.Which if you were unlucky turned out to be snake pits of abuse.

There have been a few Hispanic voices and characters but so far zero black people.Pre-Civil Rights movement, white America wanted to forget blacks even existed as much as possible.

guizot
12-05-2015, 10:22 PM
Listened to about 20 1948-1950 radio shows so far at the Internet Archive. (https://archive.org/details/Dragnet_OTR) Okay, I've finally gotten a moment to check out this web site, because the thread has made me curious. A long time ago KNX used play these old radio shows every night--two different series each night. (I used to listen to them when I was driving taxi here in L.A.) They included Dragnet, (so I learned all these things in the OP, too), but most of the other shows were, IMHO, really just not that good. I think their appeal was more nostalgia, than anything. However, one, I thought, has stood the test of time, better than all the others: The Lives of Harry Lime, (a radio version of the The Third Man. And this website has it, which is great.

RealityChuck
12-05-2015, 10:41 PM
Yeah, that's what I meant in the post above "by constitutionally slow-witted and naive."

It might've worked back then, but after a while (on the radio show, a least), it gets intrusive, because even back then, I'm sure, you would have some people more keen to the discourse of police questioning than others. It was a heavy-handed way to make the show more "real," contrasting the "average Joe" with the savvy police detective.Except the detectives other than Friday did it, too. The dialogue still seems very real: in real life people don't stick to the topic at hand and turn conversations into what they want to talk about.

Trinopus
12-05-2015, 11:44 PM
. . . A long time ago KNX used play these old radio shows every night--two different series each night. (I used to listen to them when I was driving taxi here in L.A.) They included Dragnet, (so I learned all these things in the OP, too), but most of the other shows were, IMHO, really just not that good. I think their appeal was more nostalgia, than anything. However, one, I thought, has stood the test of time, better than all the others: The Lives of Harry Lime, (a radio version of the The Third Man. And this website has it, which is great.

I remember listening to KNX for those broadcasts! (I still listen to it for the best news coverage in southern CA.)

And, yep, The Lives of Harry Lime was a darn fine show. Lots of fun, very witty, and a definitely nicer version of the character than in the movie.

May I recommend "Bold Venture," Bogart and Bacall, sweet little adventures set in pre-revolution Cuba, where Bogie plays a hotel-owner who also has a sailboat, so you'll meet smugglers, murderers, blackmailers, blockade runners, and all sorts of adventure. Really fun show!

My "fix" for old time radio comes from otrcat.com (https://www.otrcat.com/) Very low prices!

Rick Kitchen
12-06-2015, 12:00 AM
I learned that, until the show went to TV, Los Angeles was pronounced with a hard G and there were many people in LA with Spanish surnames, including Friday's boss.

Former Mayor Sam Yorty always pronounced it LOAS AN-juh-LEEZ

madsircool
12-06-2015, 12:09 AM
I don't think so. I believe the Beverly Center was an amusement park before, not a baseball stadium. There was a baseball stadium just east of that location, near the Pan Pacific Auditorium and CBS Television City. Wrigely Field was on Avalon Blvd. (Wrigley also developed Catalina Island, with the city of Avalon.)
It was Gilmore Field

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilmore_Field

guizot
12-06-2015, 12:18 AM
Except the detectives other than Friday did it, too. The dialogue still seems very real: in real life people don't stick to the topic at hand and turn conversations into what they want to talk about.That's true. In Dragnet, usually before they learn of the episode's assignment there is some of that dialog about their personal lives between Friday and his sidekick. Friday typically gets impatient with the sidekick, who takes too long to get to the point, and it's always the sidekick who initiates it; Friday rarely talks about his personal life, unless asked. The idea is to show that Friday is all about business.

And yes, generally speaking, that's the way people really talk (I should know, my masters is in discourse analysis. I study this kind of language in real life contexts.) However, in Dragnet they just tried too hard. It was so contrived, that after a dozen or so episodes it loses its effect. Still, it was better (and more realistic) than the typical dialog of most of the stuff on those old shows.

movingfinger
12-06-2015, 02:44 AM
The LA Angels of the old (pre-1958) Pacific Coast League played at Wrigley Field, which was a miniature version of the one in Chicago, even with the ivy-covered walls. It only held about 28,000. the Angels were a farm team of the Cubs, hence the stadium name and ivy walls. It was located at 42nd Street And Avalon Boulevard, and is now a park.

The Hollywood Stars were a Pittsburgh Pirates farm team and played at Gilmore Field on Beverly Boulevard next to the old Pan-Pacific auditorium.

kaylasdad99
12-06-2015, 06:54 AM
The bit about no Miranda warning during this time frame is easy to understand. The decision didn't come down from SCOTUS until 1966.

N9IWP
12-06-2015, 07:50 AM
It wasn't Dragnet, but an old time radio program I heard last night.
It centered on a clock that was somehow used to determine an alibi (I missed the beginning)

Anyhow, the detective knew it was planted - because the victim lived in a area of New York that used DC and the clock was an AC clock.

I knew DC was used a long time ago, but did not know it was used as late as the 1950s. The last DC customer in NYC was in 2007:
http://www.coned.com/newsroom/news/pr20071115.asp

Brian

Andy L
12-06-2015, 08:50 AM
Listened to about 20 1948-1950 radio shows so far at the Internet Archive. (https://archive.org/details/Dragnet_OTR) Here is what I have learned so far.



Wait til you learn about what not to buy a kid for Christmas...

Rick Kitchen
12-06-2015, 03:38 PM
Didn't the Cubs (or was it the minor league Angels?) do their spring training on Catalina, where there was yet again a third Wrigley Field?

RealityChuck
12-06-2015, 04:24 PM
Wait til you learn about what not to buy a kid for Christmas...Probably the most appalling Christmas episode in TV or radio (it was shown on both), not just for its story, but for its lesson:

If you kill your friend before Christmas, you get all his toys!

Melbourne
12-07-2015, 05:06 AM
I knew DC was used a long time ago, but did not know it was used as late as the 1950s. The last DC customer in NYC was in 2007:
http://www.coned.com/newsroom/news/pr20071115.asp

Brian

It wasn't deliberatly retired in my city: someone cut the cable, and it was easier to switch the remaining customers to AC than to fix the cable. As in NYC and Chicago at around the same time, those were all commercial supply customers. I wonder when/where the last residential supply customer were? It also raises the question, are there any cities left that still have DC commercial supply?

Urbanredneck
12-07-2015, 06:26 AM
I dont remember the show exactly but it was on some 1930's era radio show and on one of them they advertised a retirement plan saying "what will you do... in 1975".

The cigarette commercials were funny. "Winston tastes good like a ... cigarette should". And "Call for Phillip Morris".

Jim's Son
12-07-2015, 10:37 AM
Which if you were unlucky turned out to be snake pits of abuse.

Pre-Civil Rights movement, white America wanted to forget blacks even existed as much as possible.

Depends on where you ended up. Babe Ruth was put in St Mary's Industrial School for Boys when he was an uncontrollable seven year old. As an adult he said Brother Gilbert and Brother Matthias were the finest men he knew and helped raised money for the school. He was trained to be a tailor.

Lumpy
12-07-2015, 10:46 AM
Depends on where you ended up. Babe Ruth was put in St Mary's Industrial School for Boys when he was an uncontrollable seven year old. As an adult he said Brother Gilbert and Brother Matthias were the finest men he knew and helped raised money for the school. He was trained to be a tailor.Like I said, luck. There were good ones and really, really horrible ones. God help you if you were in one where the staff believed in sadistic corporal punishment or were pedophiles.

Probably the most appalling Christmas episode in TV or radio (it was shown on both), not just for its story, but for its lesson:

If you kill your friend before Christmas, you get all his toys!Sorry, reference?

RealityChuck
12-07-2015, 11:23 AM
Sorry, reference?Here's the TV version. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BHmsLsYUNA)

Jim's Son
12-07-2015, 11:25 AM
It probably doesn't apply much to "Dragnet" but in" Perry Mason" a decade later they frequently talk about getting a divorce in Mexico or Nevada and how long you have to wait for it to be valid in Los Angeles.
Fun fact: before "Dragnet" Webb produced and starred in a radio show named "Joe Novack for Hire" as a detective forced to clear himself because an inept cop played by Raymond Burr. It also featured a lot of purple prose. Webb got a role as a police lab worker in a small studio film "He Walked by Night". It was produced by Bryan Foy of "Seven Little Foys"vaudeville fame.
Foy wanted a realistic portrayal of the police search for a robber (Richard Basehart) who steals electronic equipment and resells it, killing someone in the process. He got an LAPD robbery sergeant named Marty Smith as a technical advisor. Smith was happy to earn some extra money but because he didn't like the "Joe Novack" radio show, he tried to avoid Webb.
This proved impossible. Webb wanted to learn the movie business and asked questions about it to everyone on the set. Eventually he met Smith who told him his show was horrible, it unfairly portrayed police as incompetent and as a throwaway line invited Webb to the station and use some real cases in his show (Smith didn't have the authority for that, he was mad at Webb). Webb replied it wouldn't sell, the public wanted fiction.
When "He walked by Night" it got pretty good reviews and did well at the box office for a small studio. Webb noticed that (along with reviews that were mild about his performance) and began thinking that maybe there was a market for portraying police as ordinary, hard working people trying to figure out a crime and catch the bad guys. He tracked down where Smith was working (Smith had forgotten about his offer to let him see police cases) and asked Smith and his partner all kinds of questions....how do you frisk a suspect, how do you fingerprint someone, enter a building where a suspect is?
Eventually Webb and others put together "Dragnet". They got NBC to put it on in a bad time spot
since NBC needed talent after CBS raided it getting Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, Bing Crosby, Amos and Andy. NBC thought it was dull and terrible. They were astounded when the leading radio critic, Jack Gould of the New York Herald-Tribune (Gould was also nationally syndicated) reviewed it very favorably. Gould thought some of the dialogue was over written but praised it for avoiding car chases, gun battles and showing police work as it often is: long hours of work, tracking down leads, waiting, asking many people questions.
The rest is history...greatest police show ever.

Andy L
12-07-2015, 12:14 PM
Like I said, luck. There were good ones and really, really horrible ones. God help you if you were in one where the staff believed in sadistic corporal punishment or were pedophiles.

Sorry, reference?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragnet_%28radio_series%29#Topics_and_themes

" Dragnet broke an unspoken (and rarely broached) taboos of popular entertainment in the episode ".22 Rifle for Christmas" which aired December 22, 1949 and repeated at Christmastime for the next three years. The episode followed the search for two young boys, Stanley Johnstone and Stevie Morheim, only to discover Stevie had been accidentally killed while playing with a rifle that belonged to Stanley—who'd be receiving it as a Christmas present but opened the box early; Stanley finally told Friday that Stevie was running while holding the rifle when he tripped and fell, causing the gun to discharge, fatally wounding Morheim. "

Kimballkid
12-07-2015, 12:49 PM
Criminal teenagers were sent to some kind of Juvenile camps or farms.

Or reform school, aka 'The Reformatory'.