Sunday, September 6, 2015

Log 74: Light Duty (Episode 21, Season 2)

Episode 47

This is the ninth episode with a log number that ends in 4. That means these episodes with log numbers ending in 4 are the fourth stories from districts 1, 3, 6, 5, 2, 12, 9, 10, and 7. Just thought I'd point out this trend in season 2.


An injured Malloy is assigned to the front desk along with Reed and a policewoman.

The Story:

Oh no! Is that a cast on Pete's arm? How did our favorite policeman get hurt?

We find out that he fell over some garbage cans while chasing a suspect in an alley when Sanchez asks what happened. Since he is injured, Pete will be working the front desk. It just so happens that one of the officers who works the desk called in sick tonight, which means that Jim will also be with his partner.

"I guess they don't trust me on the street alone."
[I don't trust you in the locker room alone.]

Sanchez is not happy that both Malloy and Reed are on the desk tonight. There is a student rally in Grant Park tonight and the patrol officers will need all the help they can get if it turns into a donnybrook like the last one.

After their brief exchange with Sanchez the two partners continue through the door to the front desk area. Malloy sends Nelson, the officer they are relieving, "home to mother", then he and Reed take their positions behind the counter.
[OK, Reed, this is just like the car. I'm on the left, your over there on the right.]
As they are getting settled Mac comes in and introduces them to a police officer who will be joining behind the desk tonight.
And it's not just any officer, its a policewoman. Recent Academy graduate, Doris Mills.
She's played by Beth Brickell, she also portrayed Sgt. Gloria Taylor in the season 7 episode "Lady Beware".  Maybe she is the only actress who fit into the one policewoman skirt the Mark VII wardrobe department had.
Mills has been assigned to the front desk for the next three months, one of the few segments of police work that woman were permitted to handle in the late 1960's and very early 1970's. Most female officers at the time were assigned to desk duty, clerical work, women's jails, or juvenile investigations. But, all of this was about to change. In a few short years, female officers will begin working patrol duties alongside male officers. I wonder if Dana Hall was assigned to the front desk for months after she graduated the Academy?

Pete thinks their night on the desk should be nice and quiet, unless the rally in Grant Park gets out of hand.
Lucky Doris gets to spend a quiet night with Malloy and Reed.

It's a situation that Mac is keeping a close watch on. He's learned from Sanchez that a crowd has started to gather, but fortunately no problems have developed yet. A phone call comes in from intelligence about Grant Park, Mac leaves to take it in his office.
[It's intelligence calling, for some reason they don't want to talk to me.]
After Mac leaves Doris expresses her excitement at learning the ropes from a couple of veteran officers. She asks both Pete and Jim how long they have been with the department. 

Pete lies and says he's been with the department for a "couple of years". Does he downplay his seniority to make himself look younger to the pretty policewoman? Does he just not want to discuss his background? Did the writers forget how long he had been on the force and didn't want to be bothered researching it?
Jim says he's been on the job eight months.
OK, if Reed has been on the job eight months and the first season lasted eight months (September 1968 to April 1969) and we are now in the seventh month of the second season (September 1969 to March 1970), then each month of real time equals .53 months of Adam-12 time. We will assume that the Summer television hiatus does not exist in the Adam-12 universe, there is no time lost between the end of one season and the beginning of a new one. Here's the math:

8 months of Adam-12 time / 15 months of real time = .53 months.

Let's see if this equation works when applied to Jean Reed's pregnancy. We'll suppose that Jean was three months pregnant when Jim told Pete she was expecting in the pilot episode. She was then pregnant for the remaining eight months of Season 1 and another two months in Season 2. Here's the math:

10 months pregnant in real time X .53 months of Adam-12 time = 5.3 months pregnant + the three months she was already pregnant in Adam-12 time = 8.3 pregnant at the time of little Jimmy's birth.

Close enough, remember James Reed, Jr. was born in 1969, before ultrasound and early pregnancy tests, Jean or the doctor's math could have been off by a few weeks.

Now there are those who will argue that one season of Adam-12 equals one year because their car changed at the beginning of every season. I'm just going to ignore that argument since the changing of the cars is never mentioned in the story line of the show. I'm no math whiz, but I think I just cracked the code of the Adam-12 timeline.

OK, enough math, let's get back to the story.

Mills listens to the chatter of the police radio and asks if they can hear all of the calls at the desk. Malloy seizes upon her interest in the radio and uses this opportunity to educate the neophyte officer about the stack of speakers. He explains that the top one monitors Communications.

"These lines are for the call boxes." Officers can call the station directly for information.
They can hear officers in patrol cars talk to each other over the tac frequencies with this speaker. 

Malloy then explains that it is their job at the desk to help citizens who walk through the front door and answer the phones. Soon after he says this the phone rings and gives them the opportunity to perform one of their duties. Reed lets Mills take the call. After a brief conversation, Mills hangs up the phone.

A curious Reed asks what the woman on the other end wanted.

"A sausage pizza to go."
With no calls or citizens coming in for the moment, Mills asks Malloy how he hurt his wrist. Reed begins recounting a dramatic tale of two officers chasing a 211 suspect during a pitch black night. Malloy interrupts this tale and tells her what happened without any embellishments.

"I fell over a garbage can."
A man who wants to report a theft then walks through the front door. Reeds looks for the correct form to fill out for his report.

Reed helps the man, Mills can barely contain her excitement.
While Reed helps Mr. Edwards another officer walks in with a lady who is believed to be a missing person. She had been at the bus station for ten hours when the people working there called the police, she has no ID or money.

Mrs. Higgins doesn't understand why everyone is so "shook up" she knows who she is.
Malloy clarifies that they want to find out where she lives. Mrs. Higgins answers that she lives in Detroit. Malloy breaks it to the old woman that she in Los Angeles, not her hometown of Detroit. He inquires how she got there. Mrs. Higgins answers his question with the same question he posed to her, "How did you get here?" she shoots back.

"Well, I was born here."
Mrs. Higgins is surprised by Malloy's response, she didn't think anyone was born in Los Angeles.

The experienced officer senses that he may get some useful information out of Mrs. Higgins in a more relaxed atmosphere, he asks her to join him for coffee. She agrees, but coffee makes her nervous, she'll have warm milk instead. 

Pete decides to take Doris along as backup for this assignment.
In the coffee room Pete pours the coffee for him and Doris and puts some milk on the hot plate for Mrs. Higgins. The old woman praises the dashing policeman pointing out that he is one of the few considerate men left. Perhaps confused by the close working relationship of the opposite gender officers, she then asks Doris and Pete, "Do you two have any children?".

Doris deflects this personal question by answering, "I'm still trying to get him to propose".

During their conversation with Mrs. Higgins Pete and Doris manage to find out that she has children, but not where they live or their identity. Mrs. Higgins also reveals that she has been in Los Angeles a long time but wants to return "home" to Detroit. 

After preparing the warm milk Pete decides that Mrs. Higgins may open up to another woman, he leaves her and Doris alone in the coffee room.
On his way back to the desk Pete stops to chat with an officer who has a suspect in custody.

The other policeman and his partner have brought in Jon Bradley, a man they caught inside a liquor store with a gun. There were two other men in the liquor store with Bradley, but they got away in a black sedan when they saw the police arrive. 
In no hurry to return to the desk or his partner, Pete next stops at Mac's office to inquire about the rally at Grant Park. Mac has learned from Sanchez that there are over 100 people at the park now and the crowd is still growing.

Pete thinks some of the students at the rally "make sense".
Mac is not too worried about the students, he's concerned about the agitators. Especially a group being watched by Intelligence who call themselves "The Sympathizers", they've started trouble at similar gatherings in the past and they've just showed up at Grant Park. If the situation escalates they may have to "strip the station" (which doesn't mean what I hoped it would mean). If that happens Mac will take Reed with him and Pete will be the acting Watch Commander. An anxious look spreads over Pete's face when Mac brings up the possibility of Reed joining him at the rally. 

"What's the matter, you worried about your partner?" asks the sergeant?

"No, I just work with him, Mac," answers Pete hiding his concern for the rookie.

Pete finally returns to the desk and finds Doris and Mrs. Higgins there too. Mrs. Higgins uncovers more information about her living arrangements in California through her conversation with the policewoman. She asks Doris if her mother lives with her. 

"It's the other way around, she let's me live with her."
(Doris looks slightly crazed here, maybe it's because she lives with mother.)
Malloy also finds that Reed has finally completed Mr. Edward's report. At first he filled out the "Vehicle" form then found out the entire car was not stolen, only the door, which makes the crime a theft. Reed has now filled out the correct "Theft" form and Mr. Edwards agrees with the information. Pete, knowing that he wouldn't be doing his job as a senior officer if he didn't check every detail, asks Mr. Edwards if his car was locked when the door was taken. Mr. Edwards confirms that, yes, it was locked.
"Sorry, partner."

"What do you mean?" ask a confused Reed.

"That makes it burglary, not theft, the car was locked."
Edwards hands his driver's license back to an annoyed Reed in order to start the process over again.
Pete returns to his seat and answers a call about an attempted suicide. He puts the caller on hold and dials Communications. Seconds after he speaks with the dispatcher they hear the call being assigned to 1-Adam-7.

While Reed continues to work on the third report for Mr. Edwards, the night's activities began to increase. The officer who brought Mrs. Higgins in drops by to say that he has turned her case over to missing persons, he's on his way to Grant Park. 

"Desk, Officer Malloy."
Malloy next answers a call about a 211 that just occurred at Moorpark and Colfax. Over the radio they hear officers requesting assistance at what has turned into a "major 415 in Grant Park".

[Uh oh, a "major 415" at the park. Remember the last time we had one of those? You told me to marry a tree.]
While the radio chatters incessantly, Edwards looks over the final report that Reed has prepared and finds that it is all in order. He then expresses his frustration at the slow service from his repair shop, it will take them three weeks to get him a new door. When he lived in Detroit, he would have been able to get a new door in one day.
Mrs. Higgins' interest is piqued when she hears Edwards mention Detroit. She excitedly asks him about their hometown. 
Her joy at hearing about Detroit quickly turns to disappointment, however, when Edwards shares with her how much the city has changed over the decades. He returned last year and regretted it. The city he remembered was gone, the street he had grown up on had completely disappeared. Mrs. Higgins realizes that she has been silly, longing for a place that no longer exists. She asks Malloy to call her daughter who lives in Bel Air, "of all places".

Malloy asks Doris to call her daughter and let Missing Persons know what is happening, it will save them a lot of paperwork.
While Doris calls Mrs. Higgins' daughter, Mac enters the desk area and announces that Grant Park has "gone wild". He tells Reed to get his gear and meet him in the station wagon. With his departure, Malloy is now acting Watch Commander.

After Reed has left and Doris has spoken with the very worried daughter of Mrs. Higgins the phone rings again. Doris answers it and speaks to a concerned Mrs. Reed. The policewoman is honest with Jim's wife and tells her that he is not at the desk, he is on patrol. 

Pete listens to Doris' phone call with Mrs. Reed.
As soon as their conversation ends, Mills looks to the senior officer for reassurance that she handled the call correctly. She asks Pete what she should have done, he replies that she "did it, just right". A confident smile spreads over the policewoman's face after hearing that.

Gratuitous shot of Pete's freckled hand and watch at 10:10 p.m.

An hour passes and the radio is noisier than it has been all night. As they listen to the reports come in from the park, a man comes in the front door. Edward John Lee is there to bail out his son who was arrested for shoplifting. Malloy asks him to wait while he checks with the jail.
The broadcasts from the park continue, they hear Mac announce that two officers have been injured and are on their way to Central Receiving.

 Mills wonders why Mac didn't name the officers over the radio. 
Malloy explains that there are "too many people listening". 
Pete passes the paperwork for Edward John Lee, Jr. to Doris and asks her to call the jail and start his bail proceedings, he's got another call to make.
"Where to, Central Receiving?"asks Doris slyly.
Pete begins dialing without answering her.
Twenty minutes later Pete gives Mr. Lee a receipt for his $625 bail payment. While he waits for his son to be brought from the jail, Lee expresses his surprise at the ease of the bail proceedings, he expected to go to court. 

Pete tells him it's a fixed bail for misdemeanor shoplifting, this saves the courts a lot of time.
This is all new to Mr. Lee, it's his son's first offense and he and his wife can't understand how it happened. Their son is an honor student who goes to church and neither smokes nor drinks, the father and son have never even said a cross word to each other. 

Eddie is then brought from the jail, accompanied by another officer who hands Pete his personal effects. Mr. Lee is friendly towards his son as he verifies his belongings, but Eddie pushes his kindness away. "Hit me, yell at me, but just don't be nice," he tells his father. Before he leaves the station with his father, Eddie asks Malloy to throw away one of his belongings.

He doesn't want his lucky rabbit's foot anymore.
After the Lees leave the building, Jean Reed calls again. 

Pete is glad she called, he just talked to the hospital.

The night turns into early morning and the action in the station doesn't slow down. The next man that comes through the door is Bill Bradley, he's misplaced his brother Jon and has a hunch that he might be here at the police station. Bill and his buddy let Jon out of the car to get cigarettes and haven't seen him since. (Remember, Jon Bradley is the guy the other officers caught in the liquor store with a gun and there were two other guys with him that got away.)

A helpful Pete tells an anxious Bradley to have a seat while he goes to check for his brother, Jon. He asks Doris to keep an eye on Bill as he leaves.
Instead of going to the jail, where he knows Jon Bradley is, Pete follows his gut and goes out to the parking lot. 

As he walks to a patrol car, He spots a dark sedan parked behind the black and whites. He pretends to get something out of the car while keeping an eye on the man in the dark car. Pete emerges from the patrol car with his gun drawn on the man in the car.

"Freeze, mister don't move a muscle!"

Inside the station Bill Bradley is becoming increasingly impatient. He decides that he doesn't want to wait anymore and begins walking towards the door. He knows he won't be leaving the station when Pete comes through the front door with his accomplice in cuffs.

"Hold it, Bradley, don't move!"
Pete then instructs Doris to get the set of cuffs behind the counter and "bring 'em out here".

(These were the years before female officers wore "Sally Browne" belts, Doris' cuffs and gun are probably in her purse.)

Later in the early morning Mac returns to the front desk from Grant Park. He tells Doris and Pete about the confrontation he and the other officers had in the park with the agitators.
Doris hates the word "confrontation".  Mac wisely tells her she better get used to it.
[Lady, if you hate confrontation, you are in the wrong business.]
Mac recounts how the agitators let the officers have it with a barrage of bottles and rocks. Reed and Sanchez caught most of the flying debris. "Reed claims he was lucky, he was hit in the head," adds Mac. 
"They'll never hurt him that way," jokes Malloy.
Mac goes on to praise Reeds performance in the field, he kept his cool even while being attacked. Reed didn't come up swinging after he had been knocked down, instead he kept his baton where it belonged, in the ring. The sergeant believes that the rookie's reaction gave the crowd time to think about what they were doing. One student in the crowd persuaded the troublemakers to stop and pointed out the bottle thrower to the officers. They arrested four of the agitators in the park.

Reed, the man of the hour, then walks in with a bandage on his head. Malloy shows his affection for his partner through humor. "Where ya been?" asks Pete.

"Oh, it was such a nice night, I thought I'd take a stroll in the park."

"Heard ya even took a short nap."

"A very short one."

Malloy then suggests that he go change his dirty uniform.

"Disgrace to the police department," he mutters sarcastically.
Reed returns after the commercial break sporting a clean uniform. He confesses to his partner that he thought things were going to get "sticky" at the park. Malloy lets him know that Mac lauded his actions.

"MacDonald said you kept your head."
"Just barely, wouldn't you say?"
Doris informs Jim that his wife called and suggests that he call her back. Maybe it's the knock in the head, but for some reason, he can't understand why his wife would have called the station. Doris tells him that she's probably worried about him.

"Women," states Reed frustratedly

"What about women?" asks Doris
"Always worrying," he says teasingly.
Malloy tosses him a dime for the payphone as the credits begin to roll.

 The End

My Evaluation:

I really, really like this one. There's so much to learn about here, like policewomen's duties and what goes on behind the desk. Although they are not out in the street on this one, there is even some action when Malloy captures the liquor store suspects. I'm just going to keep it short this week and jump right to the rating for this one:

Do you agree? Let me know what you think about this one in the comments. Enjoy your Labor Day, see you next time! KMA-367


  1. 1) Doris is pretty hot.
    2) Does Policewoman Dorothy Miller ever show up? Merry Anders was also hot.
    3) I love Pete's watch. What brand is that? I can't make it out in the picture.

  2. I really like this one too. It's interesting to see what happens when a call first comes into the desk. Pete works those phones like a pro.

    Officer Mills is obviously really into Malloy. Malloy is polite and helpful, but not that into her. This amuses me. Or maybe he has just learned his lesson and knows it's best not to mix business with pleasure. Perhaps this is foreshadowing for the shoplifter episode later this season where he runs into his old girlfriend? See, you have to watch Adam-12 multiple times to really understand it :)

    You are a math genius!

  3. another great review
    and love all the Pete Malloy Pix
    Thank you.

  4. Ah Sanchez, aka Fireman Lopez of Emergency

  5. This is a fave episode of mine-the clock shows the passage of time over the night. & they were able to create good drama over such a mundane task as working the desk.

  6. Another boss entry, Keely!
    I thought Malloy was just down playing his years on the force for modesty's sake.
    I like episodes with scenes of Malloy showing, even begrudging, concern about Reed. Cute. He is just a big softy.

  7. This comment is about the AUTHOR of this wonderful Adam-12 blog. Of course, another stellar review, as they "ALL" are. But....just want to get it out there that the author of this blog, "Keely," besides being able to write so fantastic and entertaining is one "SPECIAL, KIND INDIVIDUAL"!! No wonder you had the once in a lifetime opportunity to meet Mr. Kent McCord as you did!! And talk to him!!! Next to impossible this is....but You, being happened and I will always be thrilled for you. Just want to say....."an extreme thank you for your kindness to me" helped!!!! You are a "treasure" to all that know you my fellow Pennsylvanian, even though you do not reside in PA any longer. Again, thank you for your so thoughtful words. Take care Keely!!!!
    Terry Dempsey