Sunday, February 28, 2016

Log 26: LEMRAS (Season 3, Episode 15)

Episode 67

The Lakers lost last night. Reed knows because he was there. He and Jean went to the game last night while her sister watched the baby. Pete's surprised that Jean would want to spend her evening at a Lakers game, he didn't know that she "dug" basketball that much.

Turns out there's a lot that Pete doesn't about the Reeds. Basketball is what brought Jim and Jean together, they met at a game where Jim was playing. It's news to Pete that his partner even played basketball. He's really impressed when Jim tells him that he was all-conference for two years.
"Well, hooray for us, then. We've got a star in our midst."
Jim quickly puts his achievements in perspective.
"It was a small conference."
Before Jim can define just how small the conference was, the male link operator alerts 1-Adam-12 and all units in the vicinity that there is a 211 in progress at the market at 12144 Tamarac. They are instructed to handle the call, Code 3.

They're ten blocks away from the location. Pete begins driving with a look of steely determination on his face, he asks Jim to holler when they reach the 11800 block. With the red lights flashing and the sirens wailing they speed to the location. 

Jim has the shotgun at the ready as they round the corner onto Tamarac.
The parking lot of the Pax Market looks quiet, but Pete and Jim know that doesn't mean there isn't trouble inside. Jim gets into position across from the door with the shotgun, Pete stealthily approaches the door from the side.

When backup arrives Pete silently, yet forcefully tells them to go around the building to the other side.

Once Pete reaches the front door, he quickly checks out what is going on inside. 

He sees two men in stocking masks holding the proprietor and a woman customer hostage. One of the suspects sees Pete and fires at him. Before Pete can fire back, the gunman grabs the woman and uses her as a shield.

Knowing that they will need help with this one, Pete returns to the car radio and requests a clear frequency for an emergency broadcast. In his broadcast, he confirms that there is a 211 in progress. He also lets Communications know that there are two armed suspects holding hostages and that shots have been fired.

Soon after Pete makes his broadcast Mac arrives with another backup unit. The sergeant meets up with Pete and Jim and gets a rundown of the situation. Now that more cops have arrived, the gunmen are getting anxious. One of them shouts a demand at the police, they walk out and drive away or both hostages get it. "Sounds like they mean business," comments Jim.

Even though he knows firsthand that the suspects are quick to fire, Malloy still thinks they can take the two of them without anyone getting hurt. He tells Mac and Reed his scheme to capture the gunmen.

In Malloy's plan, Mac would stay outside and talk to the suspects while he and Reed got into position on both sides of the door. Then when they were set on either side of the door, Mac would talk the gunmen and the hostages outside. As soon as they are outside, Reed and Malloy would jump them from behind. Mac thinks it's worth a try and lets Malloy put his plan into action. But first he reminds the officers that their primary concern is the safety of the hostages.

To set the plan in motion, Pete quickly gets behind a pickup truck parked near the door. So that he doesn't cross in front of the door, Reed has to go around the entire building to get into position on the other side. Once Mac sees that they are set, he uses the bullhorn to tell the suspects they can come out. 

Pete crouches behind the truck as the suspects begin to leave the building.

Jim takes cover behind the phone booth on the other side of the door.

Mac watches from behind the door of his station wagon.

Once the gunmen and the hostages are out in the open, the plan to free the hostages is set in motion. But, it's not Pete's plan that goes into effect.

The well-dressed female hostage sees her chance. She drives her stiletto heel into the suspect's toe. Then while he is in shock from her sudden attack, she elbows him in the gut.

As he doubles over in pain from the hit to his abdomen, she begins beating him with her purse. He falls to the ground and drops his gun. Reed and Mac rush in to capture the incapacitated suspect. Meanwhile, Malloy grabs his accomplice.

While the suspects are being led away, the guy in the beige windbreaker whines that the woman broke his foot. She retorts that she hopes she did break it. She spent an hour and a half getting ready for a party and then he roughed her up!  After he limps off to the patrol car, Malloy stops the woman and asks her an important question.
"Lemme ask you something, lady. Where did you learn to use your heel like that?"
"I watched a lot of cop shows on TV."
When they are back on patrol, Reed is curious about his partner's athletic past. He asks Malloy if he ever played basketball.  "Football," answers Malloy.
Malloy failed to tell Reed that he did have a short basketball career in high school, but he got kicked off the team for smoking in the locker room.

Reed's not too impressed that Malloy just played football, he wants to know if he has any additional accolades on his recreational resume.
"All conference?"
"Well, it was a very small conference," he adds.
Before they can begin comparing notes on their participation in Spring sports, the boys are called to see the man at 1348 East Arden for a 459 report.

They are met at in the driveway of 1348 by a very angry Edwin M. Kale. Mr. Kale doesn't care what the officers' names are, he only wants to know why they did not act as his personal security service and prevent his home from being burglarized while he and his wife were on vacation.
Mr. Kale is played by Don Barry. He also played "Red Ryder" in the 1940 film adaptation of the comic. Adam-12 fans may remember him as Charlie Bishop from the season 7 episode "Suspect Number One". Sadly, Mr. Barry committed suicide in 1980.

Both Reed and Malloy try to explain to Kale that they have other duties and need the public's cooperation to prevent crimes. Kale's mystified by their suggestions to leave lights on and a radio playing when nobody's home. He also doesn't understand why it's a bad idea to leave a week's worth of newspapers in the driveway. He thinks Malloy and Reed are only trying to shirk their responsibilities as protectors of the citizens of Los Angeles. Malloy sets him straight.
"Mister, we're not here to shirk anything. We're here to help you. Now do you want that help or not?"

Of course Kale wants their help. He pays an astronomical amount of taxes for police protection; which, he feels, he has not received.  Malloy, tired of making the same point, explains to Kale in a flat monotone that they would have been happy to keep an eye on his place if he had helped them by telling them he was leaving town. He would have known to do this had he attended the basic car plan meeting. Kale has never heard of the meetings, despite the fact that they are publicized through mailers and billboards. 
Reed explains to Kale that the meetings take place so the police and the community can get to know one another and work together to prevent crimes.
Reed, trying to get some helpful information out of Kale, asks if his neighbors saw or heard anything when his home was burglarized. Kale scoffs at the idea that his neighbors could have any useful information. He reports that only one neighbor, Cindy, saw anything. But he thinks, since she is only a child, that her account of hearing motorcycles is utterly ridiculous. 

When Reed asks for a list of stolen items, Kale really becomes incensed. He doesn't want to give them information for a report that they will only file and forget. He wants satisfaction or he wants their badges. Malloy's now had enough of this guy.

"Mr. Kale, you do whatever you want to. We have other things to do, too.  More important that standing here listening to your threats. So, you wanna get on with the report?"
Now knowing that he won't get satisfaction without some form of cooperation, Kale finally invites them into the house. He reluctantly tells the officers to "C'mon in".

Later, near the end of their shift, Reed confesses that he is looking forward to never hearing from Mr. Kale again. Malloy agrees.
"You and me both, partner."
Now that their watch is over, it's time to head to the barn. But first, they'll have to check out why this blue car just came careening around the corner.

"Wonder what his trouble is," asks Reed.
"Let's find out," responds Malloy.
After Malloy flips on the reds and honks the horn, the driver willingly pulls over and gets out of the car.  The driver walks over to the black and white with Malloy and a little girl emerges from the backseat. Reed talks to the girl while Malloy handles the driver.
"What's your name?" asks Reed.
After she doesn't answer, he tries again.
"What's the matter, haven't you got a name?" he jokingly asks.
She shyly giggles, then answers that her name is Wendy Tucker.
Meanwhile, Malloy asks the driver why he was driving so erratically. He claims that there was another car he had to swerve to avoid hitting. Malloy didn't see any other car in the vicinity. The driver nervously watches Reed talk to the girl. 
"What's he doing with her?" he asks.
"He's calming her down, he has a child of his own," Malloy answers.
Malloy then confirms that the man's name is Charles Hammond, as shown on his driver's license. Reed walks over and asks who the little girl is. When Hammond says that she's his daughter, Reed points out the inconsistency between their surnames. 
"She says her name is Wendy Tucker, " states Reed.
Malloy slowly turns to face Hammond and hear his answer.
Hammond now claims that Wendy is his stepdaughter and impatiently asks Malloy to get on with it and give him the ticket. Instead of hurrying, Malloy hands the license to Reed and tells him to run it. 
While Reed is in the car and Malloy is looking at the ticket book, Hammond sees his chance. He tries to make a break for it! He begins to run and Malloy takes off after him. The frightened, and obviously intelligent, girl runs to Reed.

Geez, another girl facing potential embarrassment by appearing on Adam-12 and having her underpants exposed! When did girls' clothing manufacturers realize that the dresses of the early '70's were nothing more than glorified tops and did not cover anyone's nether regions? Could little girls of this era ever lift their arms without being embarrassed?

After Malloy has tackled Hammond and cuffed him in the back of the car, Reed fills his partner in on what Wendy has told him. Hammond lured the girl over to his car with candy, when she got in the car, he took off with her. A red convertible pulls up during their conversation. 

Wendy's mother is behind the wheel of the red car. She stops when she sees her daughter with the police, then runs out to embrace her. Mrs. Tucker is shocked to learn that Wendy was with a man she had never seen before. She's also upset that Wendy didn't heed her warnings to never speak to strangers. Ultimately, she's relieved that her daughter is, at least physically, unharmed.

The next day Mac asks some of the officers to stay after roll call. Of course, Pete and Jim are among those officers. The men he has asked to stay are going to be assigned as crime repression units concentrating on the recent outbreak of burglaries. 

They've determined where these units will be deployed by using LEMRAS. They've been using the computer program in the division for awhile, so everyone in the room should be familiar with it. But, just in case they are not (or if the audience at home is not), Mac goes over what each letter in the acronym stands for.
"Law Enforcement Manpower Resource Allocation System"
"That's a mouthful," observes Malloy.
Mac also tells the officers, who should already be familiar with it, how the system works. The department feeds the number of calls in each area and the time of the calls into the computer. The program then analyzes the data and predicts where and when they can expect the greatest number of calls. Patrols are then deployed according. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------OK, I tried to find out more about LEMRAS. But, there's not a lot of information out there on an almost-fifty-year-old computer program. I was able to find out that the LAPD started using LEMRAS in 1967 after it had been developed for the St. Louis PD. The LAPD used the system until 1973 when officer dissatisfaction led to it being redesigned and renamed ADAM (hmmm, interesting choice for a name), which stood for Automated Deployment of Available Manpower. After six months, ADAM was then redesigned.

The ever-curious Reed wants to know how well LEMRAS works. Mac reads a brief from the chief stating that "LEMRAS is 92.5% effective in predicting where and when the calls for police manpower will come."
"Can't do much better than that."
(Actually, you can do 7.5% better than that, Reed.)
Mac then walks over to a pin map and shows them the area where the burglaries are happening. He gives them the overview on what they know about the crimes: they suspect the same hoods are committing all of the crimes, they're using motorcycles, and somehow they are heard, but not seen. The assembled men will concentrate their efforts in the area illustrated on the map.
Here's what I learned watching this scene: Kent's hands are huge!
Once they are out on the streets, Malloy and Reed receive a 459 call in the very area LEMRAS has advised them to watch. 

At 817 South Rossman, they are shown inside the large home by the slightly-loopy Mrs. Vandemar. She was out back painting in her studio and, literally, ran into the burglars on her way back into the house. Her collision with the suspects caused the nasty scratch on her head. Reed's concerned about her injury and asks if she's sure she doesn't need a doctor.

"My husband always says it would take a Rolls Royce head-on to really do me in."
[Do you want to see the Rolls Royce he just bought?]
[Ma'am, that sounds like an awful thing to say to someone. Are you sure we can't call a marriage counselor or divorce lawyer for you?]

After Mrs. Vandemar was knocked on her fashion-model-sized keister she only got a glance at the two burglars. They were both wearing light pants, dark leather jackets, goggles, and white helmets. She also heard motorcycles. 

Malloy presses her on the detail about hearing motorcycles. 1-Adam-12 arrived at the scene pretty quickly and they didn't hear any motorcycles. He asks if she's sure it was motorcycles and not a car with a broken muffler. 

She's sure she heard motorcycles, she knows what they sound like from first-hand experience. Mrs. Vandemar explains that she and her husband are "pretty crazy" and like to ride motorcycles themselves.

[Pretty crazy? You don't say.]

[Pete, what is that look she's giving me? Let's get out of here before she asks me to model in her studio.]

When they are back in the black and white Pete vents his frustration at not being able to find the elusive bandits.
"Motorcycles, motorcycles, who's got the motorcycles?"
Maybe they'll find out with their next call, a 459 is happening right now at 8090 Arden! When they roll onto Arden, a man standing in his driveway flags them down. Then, just as they are headed to meet him, two motorcycles come roaring around the corner! Pete and Jim race back to the car. 

After Pete turns the car around, he turns on the reds and sirens and they begin pursuing the two-wheeled getaway vehicles. But the chase doesn't last very long. After the motorcycles turn a corner, they're nowhere to be seen or heard.
"That's the best vanishing act since Houdini."
They keep on driving and looking for the motorcycles. Reed broadcasts an update for responding units, 1-Adam-12 is headed West on Mill Street and will turn North on McWhirter.
OK, you all know McWhirter is Kent McCord's real last name. If you don't know why he changed it, don't worry, I have the full story. Check this out.

While they are driving, they don't see any motorcycles, but Pete takes particular interest in a green van parked on the curb.

They then meet up with Mac at the corner, the commanding officer is curious to know how they lost the motorcyclists. Pete doesn't have an answer for him.

But, he does have a hunch about that green van. They get back in the patrol unit to check out the van, which is now headed down the street.

When the driver realizes that he is being followed by not one, but two police cars, he begins to rabbit. Pete hits the reds and the sirens and the chase is on! 

Once again, it's a short pursuit. The van turns onto a dead-end street and the driver bails out. Reed takes off after the driver.

Malloy stays behind and covers the rear doors of the van with the shot gun.
"Alright, you in the van, come out nice and slow with your hands empty!"
While everyone else is waiting for something to happen in the back of the van, Reed tackles the driver.

Finally, Mac sends Marco Lopez and his partner to open the van doors. He and Pete cover them.
[Let's see what's behind door number one.]

[Open sesame!]

"Just in time for the cross-country rally to prison," quips Pete.

Reed is impressed with the thieves' ingenuity, he thinks their rolling concealed getaway and loot transporter is pretty clever. Pete doesn't think it would win any awards, even in a small conference.
"Not clever enough," is Pete's final determination on the suspects.

The End

Love, love, love this one! It's got just about everything a great Adam-12 episode should have. Since I'm running short on time, I'm just going to list all of the awesome features of this episode:

  • Tense situations balanced with humor. The first call is a real nail-biter involving gunmen and hostages. However, it ends on a light note when the woman unexpectedly incapacitates the suspect. The almost breach of the fourth wall when she admits that she learned the self-defense technique by watching TV cop shows is just the icing on the cake.
  • An irate citizen. I have a love/ hate relationship with these types of calls. Any time the boys are faced with a real jerk, it makes my blood boil. I want to jump to their defense and tell whichever idiot is being mean to them to go take a hike. But, I also look forward to these calls because then I get to see all of the priceless faces Milner makes when reacting to these blowhards. 
  • Children. Reed is just too cute with Wendy Tucker. It makes my heart melt, I don't know how else to say it.
  • A squirrel. Mrs. Vandemar is a little squirrelly. The only thing better than Milner's reactions to a jerk are his reactions to a nut.
  • An inside joke. McWhirter, he said McWhirter!!
  • Mac! 
That's the list of the good parts. My list of the bad parts would be very short and only include one entry. That would be the LEMRAS scene, it was a little heavy-handed and too much like a training video for my taste. But, despite that one complaint, I still rate "Log 26: LEMRAS" as:

Do you agree? Let me know in the comments! See you next time with "Log 155: Internal Affairs- Blackmail"!