Reviews & Ratings for
"Dragnet 1967" Community Relations: DR-17 (1969)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Clearing the Air.

Author: Robert J. Maxwell ( from Deming, New Mexico, USA
3 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There's no action, little mystery, and no villains in this story of Friday and Gannon being sent to a Community Relations Conference at Lake Arrowhead. They use a conference center owned by the University of California and lent to community agencies like the Police Department.

The conference is pretty well organized. The participants are split into groups of half a dozen or so, and Friday is designated the leader of one group. Any suggestions about how to improve community relations? Well, yes, offers one white officer. Why don't we stop bending over backwards to accommodate the minorities? He brings up several examples of cases in which blacks acted guilty of a crime but were let go anyway. Friday and Gannon shoot it down. Lots of people act nervous when being questioned by the cops and it's not necessarily an indication of guilt. Further, saying that we bend over backwards for minorities may be just another way of saying we should be harder on them. But the guy is adamant.

There's a black officer in the group too and he gets a little heated. He's always found that black suspects are more willing to talk to him than his white partner because they expect a fair shake. Friday and Gannon nail him, too, for reasons I forget.

On the morning the conference ends, Friday and Gannon are walking out the door when the white racist is coming in. He acknowledges that Friday and Gannon were right. We all need to take a look at ourselves, and sometimes we don't like what we see. He took a long walk through the woods, but he wasn't alone. The black cop was with him. His problem is solved.

I enjoyed the episode without fully believing it. If the white racist and the black racist talked things over for an hour and realized how prejudiced they were, they were anomalies. Short of head trauma, it takes more than an hour-long walk through the woods to change a core attitude. As William James said, "Everything is hitched to everything else." The radical change of a single attitude has a ripple effect, so that a dozen other attitudes must be adjusted. Our beliefs have to mesh with one another. It's a long process and the motives must be intense and enduring.

I'll give a hypothetical example. A man has a firm core belief. His wife must share it or how else could they get along. A week at the conference brings him around and he changes his mind, admitting to himself that he was wrong all along. Okay, now how does he deal with his wife? How about his children? How about his friends at work?

There's no way to comment on the acting because, as usual, so little is required. That's one of the most likable things about the program. It's like watching robots negotiating a simple maze. But I miss it when Gannon doesn't have a really silly obsession. He has one here, but it's not too funny.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Very, very preachy...but not all bad.

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
23 November 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Season 3, in particular, on "Dragnet" was hugely different and not as satisfying as the first season. Seeds of this were seen in the second season as well--episodes that focused on unusual topics--such as community relations and the more mundane aspects of police work--not the investigations or field work you usually see in police shows. Some of these episodes were pretty good but many came off as preachy and perhaps too far from the types of shows that made season 1 so darn good.

This one is about a conference at Lake Arrowhead. Friday and Gannon have been invited (i.e., ordered) to attend along with dozens of other officers to discuss improving community relations. They do this by meeting in small groups. Early on, the subject of race relations is brought up by a cop who obviously harbors a lot of racial prejudices. It's obvious that he's a jerk and the group goes on the attack towards his offensive remarks. However preachy and obvious this is, I appreciated how the show also dealt with covert racism. While not as obvious and disgusting, a black cop finally admits that he, too, favors "his own people". Fortunately, while the atmosphere gets a bit heated, by the end everybody has learned something and they're all better people. Then they held hands and sang. Well, not really...but I was half expecting it.

By criticism of the show is the obviousness of the racism by the white cop. It wasn't hard to notice that he was a jerk. And, it came off as a bit unreal. Still, the show was trying and at least deserves kudos for broaching prejudices--something other shows generally assume doesn't exist.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

You'd be surprised about what you discover about your selves

Author: sol1218 from brooklyn NY
10 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***SPOILERS*** Traveling up to Lake Arrowhead to attend a LAPD conferences on community relations Both. Sgt. Joe Friday and his partner Officer Bill Gannon, Jack Webb & Henry Morgan, are confronted with their fellow policemen's distorted opinions in who the good and bad guys are that they deal with. The white cops like Sgt. Keith Barnett, Leonard Stone, feel that the department bends over backwards for minorities , mostly blacks, in fear of not starting any trouble with them. Even to the point of looking the other way when they confront them on the street in crimes that they obviously committed. Sgt. Tom Benson, Morris D.Erby, who's black has the exact opposite opinion about whites he confronts in his work working the streets of L.A. In Sgt.Benson feeling that they get off with far more then his fellow blacks do because they are white.

It takes a lot of soul searching on both Sgt' Barnett and Benson's part to realize that there's a lot more in dealing with crime and the public but that of the race of the individuals. Something that the two in their taking sides with their own kind, whites or blacks, seem to have overlooked! Of course both Sgt. Friday and Officer Gannon don't have that problem in that they don't have a prejudice bone in their entire bodies. Their just there at the conference to straighten out those lesser cops who don't live up to both Friday and Gannon's high standards in dealing with race relations on the streets of L.A. Which they obviously achieved from sitting behind a desk but not in the field.

The holier then thou sermonizing on Sgt. Friday's part gets a little too much here in how even minded he is in race relations when he,unlike most of the cops present, in him being more of a supervisor not an on the street policeman who deals with the public first hand every day. Even though you can easily find fault with both Sgt. Barnett and Benson somewhat distorted opinion on the color of crime on the street they are far more real in what they believe in then Sgt. Friday and to a lesser extent Officer Gannon. Which makes Sgt. Friday's opinions on the subject that seem to come out of a textbook then out of first hand experience as phony,in that butter wouldn't melt in his mouth act, as he does.

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