The Relevance Today of "Hill Street Blues"

by Mark Wynn

"Memories of Hill Street Blues" 1981 to 1987

Remember "Hill Street Blues" every morning the Sergeant would conclude his morning briefing with "HEY!..........DO IT TO THEM! BEFORE THEY DO IT TO YOU!"

Remember how popular "Hill Street Blues" was at the time? I remember, I was 9. I can barely remember my childhood but I clearly remember that. I even remember Officer Belker. He was the whimsical sociopath known for biting suspect. Plenty of knees on necks back then.

A whole generation of people cheering the "Do it to them first" mantra without thinking what we were really saying was, "Do it to us before we do it to you."

Maybe this is a coincidence but...

At the same time Hill Street Blues was conditioning us to accept the yoke of aggressive policing the same year Reagan (1981 to1989) took office, the total prison population was 329,000, when he left office eight years later, the population had nearly doubled, to 627,000.

By 2013 there were well over 2 million incarcerated with a total of 6,899,000 under correctional supervision. For a price tag of $181 billion.

Is there a connection? Was it planned?

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