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.
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
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
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.
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
SouthLAnd TV show: ASP Expandable Baton is used by
The Most Popular Holster with
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 Industriessupplied LAPD and Adam-12 with gear in 1971: Pictured
above is the Velcro, Bruce Browne Buckleless
Duty Belt withClamshell 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
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
& 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
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
Smith & Wesson Model 5906, a semi-automatic 9mm
pistol, in addition to a few other approved weapons in
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
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
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,
hat changed in 1969/'70 to the circle type. Also,
on the hat badge was changed in 1973/'74 to
The eight-sided police hat and before name-plates were part of
the uniform in 1968
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
(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
Eligibility for rank promotion
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
site has no affiliation with Universal/Mark VII, NBC, Adam-12 Productions,
or the actors from the show. There is no association with Universal/MCA,
its trade or service marks. This site is a non-profit fan and information
site that is designed to focus on the 1968-1975 television show, ADAM-12,
the history of the LAPD in the era of the 60's and 70's, law enforcement,
related collectibles, vintage police restoration, and the radio and
communications devices used by the LAPD.
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