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Welcome to Down These Mean Streets, a weekly trip back to the Golden Age of Radio where we rub elbows with the era's greatest private eyes, cops, and crime-fighters. Since 2013, I've been podcasting everything from cozy mysteries to police procedurals, spotlighting characters ranging from hard boiled gumshoes to amateur sleuths. 

Be sure to tune in each Sunday for adventures of a radio detective and the behind-the-scenes stories of their shows. Join me as we spend time with Sam Spade, Johnny Dollar, Sgt. Joe Friday, and more!

Jul 25, 2021

Dragnet was an immensely popular radio, and later TV, series that entertained millions of Americans each week for over a decade. It was also strictly overseen by LAPD Chief William H. Parker, who made sure the show painted his department in the best light and glossed over its abuses of power. In the wake of calls for police reform and the systemic racism in law enforcement, it can be tough to separate the procedural storytelling elements from its role as propaganda, but we'll try as we listen to three episodes: "The Big Evans" (originally aired on NBC on March 6, 1952); "The Big Bobo" (originally aired on NBC on July 19, 1955); and "The Big Ruling" (originally aired on NBC on September 6, 1955).