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The Equipment, Guns and Uniforms on ADAM-12

When the Adam-12 series began, the standard sidearm used by LAPD police officers was the 6-inch barreled Smith & Wesson Model 14 K-38 revolver. The same sidearm was used by Officer's Malloy and Reed.

In 1971, the LAPD transitioned from 6 inch to 4 inch barrel revolvers. Adam-12 also made the change and started using the Smith & Wesson Model 15 "Combat Masterpiece" revolvers and switched to the hinged Clamshell holsters from the more common pouch holsters.


The early 1970's brought a new uniform duty belt for the LAPD and a Velcro Bruce Browne setup. Back in the '70s the LAPD wanted to get away from the metal buckle because of its reflectiveness, which could potentially make officers a target, especially at night.

A new belt was developed for the LAPD by JAT Industries with back hooks and Velcro to get around this problem. The result was a comfortable, buckleless duty belt, debuted by Officers Reed and Malloy on Adam-12. The design reportedly caught on in other parts of the country. Jack Webb always strived for LAPD authenticity with both Adam-12 and Dragnet. The shows were so accurate, Police Academy's from all over the country used them as training films.


Pictured above: ADAM-12 duty belt and gun from 1968 - 1969. Bucheimer lock style swivel holster with heavy duty release snap.
Hoyt swivel pouch holster with snap guard with a Sam Browne Buckle Duty Belt, handcuff and ammo. S&W K-15 4" revolver and the original K-14 6' revolver used on ADAM-12.

Malloy and Reed ready their batons as a crowd in a bar begins to get unruly. Mac walks in as the situation settles and the batons are not necessary. ADAM-12 used real LAPD 26" heavy hardwood batons (pictured below) with the rubber stop for the loop on their belt.


standard 26" long, heavy hardwood baton, as seen on Adam-12.

The PR-24 Monadnock
24" Baton replaced the hardwood baton in the late '80s and is still used today.

ASP Baton - 21" Expandable Friction Lock is carried by LAPD officers.

SouthLAnd TV show: ASP Expandable Baton is used by Officer Sherman


The Most Popular Holster with ADAM-12 Fans

The most popular and asked about "CLAMSHELL" holster was introduced to the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1960's but didn't become regularly used until the early 1970's. This holster was seen regularly in the 1950's police series, 'Highway Patrol' Starring Broderick Crawford. Originally designed for safety, a leather-covered "button" behind the trigger guard released a simple catch on the front edge of the holster. A wound spring forced the holster open and it hinged on the rear edge.



(L-R) William Boyett, Leonard Nemoy and Broderick Crawford in a 1950's episode of the TV series 'HIGHWAY PATROL.' Boyett had already experienced the difficulty with the clamshell holster before A-12 and can be seen putting his gun in his waistband because he found it problematic to re-holster his weapon. When ADAM-12 switched to using the clamshell holster, Boyett is never seen re-holstering his gun.

Easy enough to open, Gary Crosby (Officer Ed Wells) also had difficulty with the clamshell holster and after many takes would end up just using both hands to grab the holster, center it and replace the gun and shut the holster.

Although a fan favorite and a cool looking holster, the actors (and some real police officers) did not care for the clamshell holster at all and many were happy to see it disappear.


JAT Industries supplied LAPD and Adam-12 with gear in 1971: Pictured above is the Velcro, Bruce Browne Buckleless Duty Belt with Clamshell holster, extra ammo pouches for quick loaders, handcuffs, case, LAPD baton and an Airsoft HG-131B Revolver Gas Pistol -  another excellent prop in place of an S&W K-15 "Combat Masterpiece" revolver.

Pictured below is the exact rig used by LAPD officers and Malloy and Reed on Adam-12 supplied by JAT Industries. Other companies also supplied similar rigs to the Los Angeles Police Department.



A great look at the equipment used on ADAM-12 from collector Lt. Ed Godfrey of the LASD.



Malloy and Reed draw their firearms from the 'CLAMSHELL' holster

CLAMSHELL Holster Demonstration
(same holster as used on Adam-12)

JAT Ind. supplied the Clamshell Holster
for Adam-12 and the LAPD. 'Satety Speed'
made a similar rig also used by the LAPD

Before the early 1970s, LAPD officers were issued the six-shot double action/single action Smith & Wesson Model 14 .38 Special revolver. From 1971 to 1988, officers were armed with the six-shot, double action/single action Smith & Wesson Model 15 revolver, also known as the .38 "Combat Masterpiece". This was specifically designed at the request of the Los Angeles Police Department. It was a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson Model 10 variant with non-snag, high profile adjustable sights.

LAPD Model 15s were often modified by an armorer to fire double-action only, meaning officers could not cock the hammer. This was to prevent accidental discharges caused by the short, light single-action trigger pull that some officers used. Many officers and detectives also carried the Model 36 "Chief's Special" as a backup revolver, and often off-duty.

In the patrol cars, locked to a steel bar, was an Ithaca Model 37, 12-gauge shotgun, loaded with "00" (double-aught) buckshot, nine pellets to the cartridge with one round in the chamber and four in the magazine tube. The shotgun was made specifically for the Los Angeles Police Department, and was called the "L.A.P.D. Special". The shotgun was based on the Ithaca Model 37 "Deerslayer", which was a weapon designed to hunt large game with rifled slugs. As a consequence of being designed for use with slugs, it had rifle sights, unlike most shotguns. The Ithaca 37, as seen on Adam-12, was the standard shotgun used by the LAPD for several decades until the 1990's.

The "L.A.P.D. Special" had a dull parkerized military finish instead of the more usual high gloss blue finish. The barrel was 18 and a half inches long, as opposed to the twenty inches of the civilian version. The advantages of the Ithaca Model 37 Shotgun over the Winchester, Mossberg and Remington models were that the Ithaca weighed a pound less, and could be used with equal ease by right or left-handed shooters due to the unique bottom ejection port and loading chamber it used.

In response to increasing firepower carried by criminals, including fully automatic weapons and assault rifles, LAPD patrol officers were issued the Beretta 92F in 1987. Later, officers were able to carry the Smith & Wesson Model 5906, a semi-automatic 9mm pistol, in addition to a few other approved weapons in 9mm caliber.

Until 2002, LAPD officers' standard issue pistol was the Beretta 92F/92FS. However, when William Bratton was appointed Chief of the LAPD, he allowed his officers to carry the Glock pistol, a weapon which the two previous departments he was chief at (the New York City Police Department and the Boston Police Department) carried. New officers graduating from the LAPD academy are now issued the Glock 22 or Glock 17 but can qualify in a variety of firearms.

Unlike most big-city departments, the LAPD has always allowed officers an extraordinary amount of leeway in choosing a duty weapon. While the Glock 22 .40 caliber is now issued to recruits, the Beretta 92 in 9mm is still seen in many holsters in L.A. Once off probation, officers may choose to purchase another duty pistol from an approved list of handguns in 9mm, .40 or .45. Authorized manufacturers are Glock, Smith & Wesson and Beretta. Officers must qualify monthly with the new pistol. Detectives are also required to qualify and must carry a full-size sidearm, but they have more choices in pistols than uniformed personnel. New officers are not allowed to carry revolvers as a primary duty weapon anymore, but there are still a handful of old-timers with service revolvers around, their numbers shrinking with each retirement.


LAPD Duty Belt between the early '90s and 2005. Not much has changed except the GLOCK is
now the most common firearm used by many of today's LAPD officers in the line of duty.



Malloy and Reed's Uniforms

According to Adam-12 Wardrobe specialist Gil Loe: Marty Milner and Kent McCord's uniforms were NOT LAPD standard, however, all of the other actors were dressed in official LAPD attire. Marty and Kent's shirts were custom made with very light Navy blue material for comfort. All of the t-shirts were purchased at JCPenny and dyed a light blue hue (Technicolor #2) for the camera, which appears white on film. This was a common practice of the time, since the camera did not do well with the color "white."


The LAPD Uniform

LAPD Trousers - 100% Worsted Wool - Dark Navy, "LAPD-Blue" S/S and L/S Shirt - Hidden Zipper - 100% Worsted Wool - 10oz - Dark Navy. The "silver" LAPD buttons attach at the epaulets and take the place of the shirt pocket flap buttons. Break-away tie and name-plate. The tie and long sleeves is part of the mandated uniform. The tie-less, short-sleeve is an option. Division commanders control who wears what when in their divisions.

The optional uniform shall consist of the basic uniform with short sleeves, an open convertible collar, and the tie removed. A undershirt shall be worn under the optional uniform shirt. The undershirt shall be white and shall have a round crew neck collar. Officers not wearing the optional uniform shall wear the basic uniform with long sleeves and a tie. Although the optional uniform is authorized, officers shall wear the basic uniform, with long sleeves and a tie, when the division commanding officer deems it appropriate.

The uniforms prior to 1969, had an eight sided hat and gold buttons and no name-plate, pictured below. The hat changed in 1969/'70 to the circle type. Also, "POLICEMAN" on the hat badge was changed in 1973/'74 to "POLICE OFFICER."

The eight-sided police hat and before name-plates were part of the uniform in 1968

ADAM-12 RIOT HELMET: LAPD 1969 Riot Helmet with detachable protective shield and black carry case marked LAPD
inside. Helmet manufactured by Bell helmet & was a TOPEX model as worn by Malloy and Reed.in "If The Shoe FIts."

The many authentic police jackets and rain coats used by the LAPD and Malloy and Reed on Adam-12



The medals that Reed and Malloy wear on their uniforms signify their shooting abilities. In the case of Malloy, who has a gold medal with two bars, he is rated as an expert shot while Reed, who has a medal with one bar, is a sharpshooter.

LAPD officers are required to be tested on their shooting skills every two years.


The Adam-12/Mark VII Pin / The Badge and more


Mark VII Lapel Pin

The small lapel pin was issued by Jack Webb's company and had to be worn by and used to identify members and employees of the crew during production of the show.


The medal worn by Officer Pete Malloy is a Distinguished Expert Shooter medal. Officer Jim Reed wore a Sharpshooter medal.


Officer Pete Malloy was promoted in the show to the rank of Policeman 3 + 1 (two stripes and star). One rank below Sergeant. He also wore one Service Stripe on his left lower sleeve. Each stripe represents five years of service.


Police officers Insignia Detectives Insignia Notes
Police Sergeant II Police Detective III At least two years service as Sergeant II or Detective III before eligibility for promotion to Lieutenant I.
Police Sergeant I Police Detective II Promotion based on panel interview/departmental assessment.
  Police Detective I
Police Officer III ‡ At least one year's service as Police Officer III before becoming eligible for promotion to Sergeant I or Detective I (which requires an additional examination and interview).
Police Officer II No insignia At least three years service as a Police Officer II before eligibility for promotion to Police Officer III
Police Officer I Automatic promotion to Police Officer II upon satisfactory completion of an 18-month probationary assignment (6 months at the academy + 12-month field assessments).
Insignia are worn as embroidered chevrons on the upper sleeves of a shirt or jacket.
LAPD Police Officer-3+1 - Senior Lead Officer.jpg Certain Police Officer IIIs in special or hazard pay situations (Police Officer III+1s) are denoted by a Police Officer III insignia and star. These roles can include traffic follow-up investigators, canine training handlers, SWAT assistant squad leaders, and Senior Lead Officers who coordinate geographical areas.


Senior ranks Insignia Notes
Chief of Police Appointment made by the Mayor of Los Angeles, with majority approval of the Police Commission. Must have a college degree and 12 years in law enforcement.
Assistant Chief
(Police Deputy Chief II)
Eligible to be appointed to Deputy Chief I after at least one year's service as a Commander.
Police Deputy Chief I
Police Commander Eligibility for rank promotion achieved after

LAPD awards, commendations, citations and medals

The department presents a number of medals to its members for meritorious service. The medals that the LAPD awards to its officers are as follows:


The Los Angeles Police Department Medal of Valor is the highest law enforcement medal awarded to officers by the Los Angeles Police Department. The Medal of Valor is an award for bravery, usually awarded to officers for individual acts of extraordinary bravery or heroism performed in the line of duty at extreme and life-threatening personal risk.

  • Liberty Award:

The Liberty Award is a bravery medal for police canines killed or seriously injured in the line of duty. The award, which was inaugurated in 1990, is named after Liberty, a Metropolitan Division K-9 shot and killed in the line of duty. Liberty's handler received the Medal of Valor for the same incident. So far it has only been awarded once in the LAPD's history.

  • Police Medal for Heroism:

The Police Medal is an award for bravery, usually awarded to officers for individual acts of heroism in the line of duty, though not above and beyond the call of duty, as is required for the Medal of Valor.

  • Police Star:

The Police Star is an award for bravery, usually awarded to officers for performing with exceptional judgment and/or utilizing skillful tactics in order to defuse dangerous and stressful situations.

  • Police Life-Saving Medal:

The Police Life-Saving Medal is an award for bravery, usually awarded to officers for taking action in order to rescue or attempt the rescue of either a fellow officer or any person from imminent danger.


  • Police Distinguished Service Medal
  • Police Meritorious Service Medal
  • Police Meritorious Achievement Medal
  • Police Commission Distinguished Service Medal
  • Community Policing Medal
  • Human Relations Medal

Unit citations

  • Police Commission Unit Citation
  • Police Meritorious Unit Citation


The LAPD Badges

The badges used on Adam-12 were authentic, LAPD issue POLICEMAN badges and were delivered by an officer to the set when filming and returned to the LAPD when finished. LAPD Lieutenant Daniel Cooke (1927-1999), was the keeper of the badges. He worked as the LAPD liaison to Jack Webb and managed all badges issued throughout the filming of Dragnet and Adam-12.

In 1973/1974, the LAPD Series "6" - "POLICEMAN" badges were changed to "POLICE OFFICER" with the addition of women to the Field Patrol Division.

Below is a description of the LAPD Badge: The badge made world famous by Jack Webb's Dragnet and Adam-12. The LAPD badge is now the most copied badge by law enforcement agencies in the United States.

Border design based on the fasces, or ancient Roman symbol of authority. Designation of rank. Rays of a setting sun represent a West Coast location. Replica of City Hall with three symbolic characteristics: Tower’s rising lines depict the untiring and unyielding spirit of the City’s founders; the flanking wings represent the expansive growth from the first "El Pueblo"; the broad base signifies the City’s firm foundation. The City Seal depicts: the City’s history through Spanish, Mexican, autonomous and United States control; its site as a prolific garden spot; and the early influence of the mission padres. Designation of city and department. Oval shape, unique in badge design when adopted in 1940. Badge number or symbol of rank.


Nothing has made LAPD officers more recognizable in the last seven decades than the badge. This emblem distinguishes members of the Department from all other various styles of badges that have been worn since 1869. The current badge has been in service since 1940. Its design is both distinct and world renowned. The badge was copyrighted in 1940 so that no others could use the design. Prior to the current badge, the eagle-topped gold tone badge served from 1923 to 1940. Its predecessor, a two-tone shield, served from 1913 to 1923, and the pinched shield design served from 1909 to 1913. Our two stars, one of eight-point design and the other with six points, were worn from 1869 to 1890 and 1890 to 1909, respectively. The change in designation from "Policeman" to "Police Officer" occurred in 1973.

Visit The Los Angeles Police Museum online by clicking HERE



Behind the Scenes with John Walsh at the LAPD Training Academy - 2011

A quick look at the LAPD from behind the scenes with training, target practice, driving and tactics

Length of video: 3 min



  Current  Los Angeles
Police Department Equipment

@ LAPDOnline.org




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