Police officers have maintained a high-profile presence on television since the earliest days of commercial network broadcasting in the 1940s and 1950s. From police procedurals such as Dragnet and Adam-12 to early 21st century crime dramas such as The Shield and The Wire, police programs have proven to be among the most durable and popular of all television genres. In their hundreds of iterations, cop shows have sought to depict law enforcement in a “realistic” manner, striving to capture the “true” nature of ...

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