The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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William Parker, Part 1

 

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June 17, 1957
Los Angeles

I'm extremely pleased to be able to present Paul Weeks' series on Los Angeles Police Chief William H. Parker.  Weeks did a first-rate job with a subject who wasn't especially cooperative. Although Parker realized the value of the press, he was wary of how he was portrayed and far more guarded than his predecessors. (He was equally sensitive about how the department was portrayed in "Dragnet," and according to former officers, kept Jack Webb on a tight rein).

Be sure to read to the end of this story and learn about the maneuver that was apparently used to keep police files exempt from subpoenas. Recall that Parker was an attorney.

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Some loved him, most respected and honored him, others, such as African-Americans, Latinos and street hoodlums hated him. But one thing was and continues to be a constanate with Chief William H. Parker (1905-1966). He protected Los Angeles for 39 years, minus his Army service in World War II to protect America from Nazi Germany. Despite his personal flaws (humans have them), he ran a professional police force with what material the LAPD had at that time and did the best he could. That amounts to something worthwhile, a noteworthy legacy that continues with the brave men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department and other law enforcement agencies. Rest in honored glory, Apostle Blessing and thank you, Chief Parker for your service to Los Angeles.


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