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LAPD Chief Charlie Beck gets cameo in 'Southland' season finale

March 15, 2013 | 11:41 am

Charlie Beck
The Los Angeles Police Department and Chief Charlie Beck have helped contribute to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of plot lines for television and the movies.

But Friday afternoon, Beck will film a cameo for the season finale of the L.A.-based police drama “Southland,” which will be include a mock news conference outside the old police headquarters, Parker Center.

Officials won’t reveal the nature of the appearance, saying they didn’t want to give away the plot. They were also mum on the subject of the news conference, other than to say it involved a “high-profile crime.”

But as often the case, reality intruded somewhat on the shoot. The scene was supposed to be filmed at the new police headquarters, but an unscripted anti-police protest required the shoot to be moved to Parker Center.

It’s not the first time that an LAPD chief has appeared in a Hollywood production.

Former Chief William J. Bratton made a brief appearance in "People I Know," which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival three months after Bratton took the helm of the LAPD in 2002. Bratton played a politician in a role modeled off Rudolph Giuliani, with whom Bratton famously bumped heads when he was top cop in New York City and Giuliani was mayor.

Daryl F. Gates, who led the LAPD from 1978 to 1992, played himself several times in the TV series "Hunter" and in the 1995 made-for-television movie "Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam."

And Bernard C. Parks, chief from 1997 to 2002, had a guest spot on the sitcom "Girlfriends," also playing himself.

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— Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck prepares to film a scene for the season finale of the L.A.-based police drama “Southland. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

The chief plays a tough and unforgiving politician in a role modeled
on Rudolph Giuliani, with whom Bratton famously bumped heads when he
was top cop in New York City and Giuliani was mayor.
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