Greatest Fictional Angeleno #7: Sgt. Joe Friday

Name: Joe Friday
Residence: Bachelor pad in an undisclosed location
Rank: Sergeant
Badge: 714
Occupation: Detective, LAPD
Wheels: 1966 Ford Fairlane

A top detective with the LAPD from 1949, Friday was inexplicably demoted from Lieutenant to Sergeant in 1967. Still, he served the force with no discernible decline in dedication until his retirement in 1970; in fact, Friday was so passionate about right and wrong, he was known for reading his charges the riot act along with their rights, giving long, spontaneous dissertations on truth, justice and the American way before letting the officer in charge take them away.

The cases assigned to him and partner Bill Gannon ranged widely: a Jane Doe found off the Venice Pier; a race against the clock to stop a suicide attempt at the Hollywood Elsinore Hotel; the mysterious disappearance of a pilot who made a crash landing in a San Fernando Valley parking lot. Unfortunately, his dedication to the force precluded any serious romantic life. Save a brief engagement to Ann Baker from 1953-1954 and a couple of rumored dalliances (the last of which, with policewoman Dorothy Miller, would have been kept secret for obvious reasons), Friday remained a steadfast bachelor and social loner, although he would occasionally dine at family man Gannon’s Eagle Rock home.

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Other fictional Angelenos in this series.

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