posted on May, 30 2010 @ 09:21 PM
I was just wondering something, so I came here to put it down and see what others think.
I was born in 1967 and as a young boy watched the television shows of the Seventies that were popular at the time. Being a fan of police shows and the
wild west I grew up watching reruns of Dragnet, Bonanza, and Gunsmoke. The seventies also had great television shows like Adam 12 and Emergency.
My point here is the relationship between the police, (or sheriff) and the general population was always portrayed as very amicable. The population
was very supportive of the police in these shows and the authorities were always very respectful of the citizens. Even in scenes where things were
chaotic or odd, the police would take a moment to assess the situation and proceed. It was often common to see on these shows the police aggravated by
the LAWS they had to follow and often the bad guy got away because of this, but the police knew their limits and as good law abiding people and
upstanding policemen, they would not break these principles.
I also remember as a child the police cruising through the neighborhoods handing out sports cards for the local professional teams. This was in
Washington State so we always got Seahawks and Sonics trading cards. The police went out of their way to build relationships in the community. Even
when we did get caught doing things wrong, and we did, the police would always call our parents or take us home. We were never cuffed, beaten,
threatened, or abused. If we had knives, they took them. If we were trespassing, the sent us away. The scene was more of like, "Don't you boys know
what danger you are putting yourself in?", or "You damn kids, let's see what your father has to say about this."
Now jump forward to now. The police shows today show a much different relationship and a much different level of respect towards the general populace.
The shows 24, NYPD Blue, has it's characters break the law in order to enforce the law. People are treated without respect and are guilty until
proven innocent. On 24 they even advocate torture as a means to an end.
The populace now shown on the TV support the police but it seems more out of fear than simply support for law enforcement. You don't want to be seen
a a terrorist or have your patriotism questioned now do you? As a child in the seventies (The BiCentennial occurred) questioning patriotism was simply
My question is this: Has television simply caught up to portray law enforcement as it really is, or has television changed the paradigm of the viewers
making once unacceptable practices standard operating procedure? Or perhaps your own theory or ideas . . .