Preface: Yeah… long sigh… I fully realize that TV Land and the Real World are two different creatures; that yearning for the merger of idealism and realism rarely, if ever, winds up as a wish come true. Still, we can hope for better days, can’t we?
From September 21, 1968 until May 20, 1975, veteran policeman, Officer Pete Malloy (actor Martin Milner), and his rookie partner, Officer Jim Reed (actor Kent McCord), availed themselves of their professional training (backed up by their community building spirit and general street smarts), to conscientiously, honorably and courageously protect and serve the Los Angeles community. Typically, they were dispatched to respond to distressed citizens’ reports of violent crimes and frantic requests for help; arrived in a timely manner courtesy of their assigned patrol car, a.k.a. Adam-12; a.k.a. this TV cop drama series’ name.
Season 2 Episode 14 (titled Log 14 — S.W.A.T.) originally aired via the NBC TV network on January 24, 1970 / early evening; encored via the MeTV network on May 26, 2021 / late afternoon (just yesterday); where / when the following incident went down…
A sniper named Johnny Kursko (actor Thomas Bellin) is terrorizing a neighborhood in an urban section of the city. He is on top of a building that once housed a movie theater that the sniper worked at. It is later found out that he is an escaped fugitive from New York and he is shooting up the neighborhood as a way to get back at the people in the neighborhood who he holds responsible for the theater’s closing. Reed, Malloy and Detective Sgt. Gus Brown get into their SWAT gear and go after Kursko and try to get him without any further bloodshed. [read more here] [here too]
And I’d add that Kursko is certifiably hardcore unglued; even wounding an elderly woman and attempting to kill an innocent child and his adorable pet dog. Additionally, my unsung hero award goes to Ron Thompson (actor Adam Wade) who not only risks his own life to rescue the wounded by Kursko motorcycle cop, Benson (actor Richard Geary), but also winds up providing the cops invaluable biographical info about a casual acquaintance of his, none other than sniper Kursko. Honorable mention award goes to Malloy who, to help defuse this tense altercation, pulls double duty in the role of the laid-back, layman shrink.
It’s during this episode’s closing scene that this viewer experienced his “Oh Wow” moment: mainly due to the fact that, few, if any of today’s militant cops (a.k.a. bedlam’s worst) would ever respond to the questions of the unnamed reporter (actor Morgan Jones) in this same manner. Check out the dialogue transcript, courtesy of MeTV, my aged VCR and taped over VHS cassette.
• Pardon me Officer, may I have your name please?Screenplay writers Robert A. Cinader / Jack Webb / Stephen Downing
• Reed, Jim Reed.
• You’re the policeman who made the capture, aren’t you?
• Yes sir, I was one of them.
• Did he resist?
• Yeah, he resisted.
• He’s injured a number of people and killed at least one.
Personally, I think I’d have shot him.
• That’s not what I get paid for.
• You figure he’s sick? Is that why you let him live?
• No sir.
• You should’ve shot him and got it over with.
Why didn’t you? Give me one good reason.
• Because it wasn’t necessary.
BECAUSE IT WASN’T NECESSARY!
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