Police are still chasing a false image of their own professionalism, conceived a half century ago. The professionalism of the 1950s and 1960s, made popular in American television shows like Dragnet, Starsky and Hutch, and S.W.A.T. held out a promise that following the law, mastering sophisticated weaponry, and pledging loyalty to the organization would bring professional discipline and, with it, public respect. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
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