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The Night Watch Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Night Watch

Press clipping from November 23, 1954 describing the realism of Night Watch
Press clipping from November 23, 1954 describing the realism of Night Watch.























































KABC AIRWATCH spot ad ca. 1958
KABC AIRWATCH spot ad ca. 1958








Though originally captioned Captain Max Schumacher with Roger Carroll, the picture appears to be Donn Reed and Roger Carroll ca. 1959
Though originally captioned Captain Max Schumacher with Roger Carroll, the picture appears to be Donn Reed and Roger Carroll ca. 1959















Captain Max Schumacher over L.A. during early evening Rush Hour ca. 1965
Captain Max Schumacher over L.A. during early evening Rush Hour ca. 1965
Tri-City Herald 54-05-03:
DOWN HOLLYWOOD WAY
Realism Of 'Night Watch' Startles CBS Televiewers

By BOB THOMAS

HOLLYWOOD [UP]--The new Night Watch radio show tops Dragnet for realism in the cops-and-criminal department. It's the genuine thing.
Listeners to Night Watch on CBS Monday nights will hear the actual nabbing of a criminal. The recording was made during an arrest by the Culver City, Calif. police.
Columbia's answer to Jack Webb is an enterprising young man named Donn Reed. A radio veteran, he dreamed up Night Watch in an effort to find something new in radio.
"I remember one day I came out of a radio conference feeling very depressed," he told me. "I said to another fellow that I was tired of rehashing the same old things in radio. If only there was something new."
"That day I went over to the place where I play handball. Another person who plays there is Ron Perkins, a sergeant with the Culver City Police. He had his uniform on, and I asked him what he had been doing lately. He told me about some of his cases, and they sounded fascinating. He invited me to come along with him some night."
Reed went in the prowl car one night and found a wealth of material. Perkins talked to Chief W. N. Hildebrande of the Culver City police about allowing Reed to record some cases. Permission was granted, and the project got underway.
"Our first problem was the recording equipment," reported Reed. "To get really professional quality meant using about 1,000 pounds of gear. Obviously that was impractical, since much of the time I had to race after police to get my recordings."
"We finally worked it down to a self-inclusive unit that weighs only 16 pounds. That makes me much more maneuverable. We carry an engineer with us, but he stays in the car. It wouldn't be right to ask him to accompany us."
Reed referred to the danger. It can be considerable. Once he was in close proximity when a holdup man was apprehended. The hood reached for his gun, and Reed hit the deck. He saved himself from danger, but he was still angry. The fall damaged the recording equipment and ruined his report on the crime.
On another occasion, the police picked up a dope addict who confessed the source of supply. This led to the undercover interview with a dope pusher whose devious method of selling the stuff was recorded on tape.
Such exploits provide an exciting life for Reed. Too exciting, claims his insurance firm. "My premium has been tripled since I started this work," he lamented.
Reed spends most of his evenings with the Culver City Police. He now enjoys a night out with his wife only about once every four weeks. In addition to his night work, he keeps the radio in his CBS office tuned to the police reports. He knows the code numbers, and when a promising call comes over, he hops in his car and hurries to the scene.

That was the United Press article that introduced much of America outside of California to Night Watch and Police Recorder Donn Reed. What these two press clippings fail to capture is more a function of their own cultural myopia at the time. The post World War II and Korean War era was but a transition to the Cold War years. This was a period of intense fear mongering designed to underscore and gain further support for the 'the military-industrial complex' that President Eisenhower warned the nation to 'beware of', as he prepared to leave office in 1961.

Granted that it was a completely different time and place in American history, but by the same token, habeas corpus hadn't been suspended even then. Thus it requires a great deal of suspension of disbelief to actually believe all that transpires in the course of these fascinating recordings. And granted as well, that there's clearly an appeal to the voyeur in all of these recordings--and the similiarly themed Unit 99 that evolved shortly after this series. Indeed, Jack Webb had long since tapped into voyeuristic appeal with his long-running Dragnet. The Line-Up was another similiarly themed Crime Drama anthology that used hyper-realistic scripts to lend both a voyeuristic and schadenfreude appeal to the proceedings.

We must remember, after all, that this was the great 'keeping up with the Joneses' era. Everyone was getting the latest and greatest Television sets, built-in ovens and refrigerators, electronic washing machines and dryers, and of course dutifully covering every inch of the upholstery in their homes in custom clear vinyl slipcovers. Needless to say, in a society so overwhelmingly caught up with appearances, comparisons to each others' relative success, and continual reminders of almost universal reasons to fear almost anything and anyone, schadenfreude was a natural by-product. Oppressed people find it far easier to take pleasure in the misfortune and tragedies in others--the very definition of schadenfreude. Which explains why many programs similar to Night Watch could ocassionally capture the imagination of a national audience.

It was both escapism and 30 minutes to reflect that no matter how bad things might be going for one's own family, there was always someone else so much worse off, that one could revel in someone else's misfortune. Admitedly not the healthiest of cultural or social attitudes, but it was what it was. There was nothing particularly culturally, socially, or spiritually redeeming about the program. Its producers knew the audience it would appeal to. Indeed the simple novelty of a 'candid Police Recorder' running loose throughout Southern California was clearly something never before heard over radio--except by those who already sat listening to the Police Band frequencies all day.

The program, novel as it was, reached a predictable arc, then just as quickly dissipated when the novelty wore off, rather like the "Lookie Lous" that rush to view the gory details of a traffic accident or neighborhood fire, then just as quickly retreat back to their own lairs once their schadenfreude has been sated. Donn Reed tried another run at the concept, but from a slightly different angle, with Police Recorder. Police Recorder was auditioned as a psychological analysis of criminal behavior, again using the three years of tapes that Donn Reed and Sgt. Ron Perkins had accumulated in the course of producing Night Watch. Sgt. Perkins and Donn Reed would frame a particular recorded situation then turn it over to a Police Psychologist for analysis and deconstruction. The project never progressed beyond the audition stage.

The clear star that emerged from the series was Detective Sergeant Ron Perkins himself. He reportedly acquired something of a cult following throughout North America both during and after the program aired. When he was married in March 1954, the press was full of sidebars and notices announcing his forthcoming Beverly Hills marriage to Barbara Joyce Karr.

The series also suffered its own tragedy of sorts during its broadcast run: Producer Jim Hadlock's young son suffered a basal skull fracture when he was accidently hit by a car while running an errand for his mom.

Donn Reed may not have gotten the green light for Police Recorder, but he wasn't long out of the public eye. California Southland residents were treated to another 5 - 8 years of Donn Reed in another '-Watch' program, "Air Watch". Air Watch teamed Reed with helicopter pilot Max Schumacher for a morning and late afternoon drive time series of daily traffic reports from the skies over Los Angeles and its environs. Both entertaining and extremely helpful, Air Watch set the standard by which most major metropolitan areas throughout the U.S.--and the rest of the world--eventually established their own 'traffic watch' programs.

Tragically, in 1966 Captain 'Max' Schumacher himself died in a air accident involving his helicopter and an LAPD helicopter. Both he and two LAPD officers were killed in the accident over Elysian Park, the area immediately west of L.A.'s Dodger Stadium. In a further ghastly irony, Captain Max's replacement, Captain Jim Hicklin was murdered in 1973 aboard a cruise ship as it was readying to sail, when a crazed listener apparently boarded the ship, found Hicklin's stateroom and killed him.

So it is that this hyper-candid 'slice of life' program both erupted onto the Radio scene, ran its course, then just as abruptly disappeared into relative obscurity. But not until proving that America, during times of great cultural, political or social stress, can become a fertile audience for popular schadenfreude programming. Witness American Idol, Survivor, The Apprentice, and 24 as vehicles for some of the more effective examples of pure schadenfreude escapism offered to a public starved for someone else to point to as worse off than themselves.

Series Derivatives:

Police Recorder; Unit 99 [AFRS]
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Crime Documentaries
Network(s): CBS; KNX Radio; KCBS
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): 54-01-07 00 Audition Program
54-02-24 00 Audition Program
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 54-04-05 01 Nude Prowler
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 54-04-05 - 55-04-21; CBS; Fifty-two, 30 minute programs; Mondays, 7:05 p.m.; Thurs. 6:30pm
Syndication: None
Sponsors: Sustaining
Director(s): Sterling Tracy - Producer/Director/Supervisor
Jim Hadlock - Producer
Sgt Ron Perkins - Technical Advisor
Principal Actors: No Actors
Recurring Character(s): Donn Reed, Detective Sgt Ron Perkins, W. N. Hildebrand - Chief Of Police
Protagonist(s): Donn Reed
Author(s): Donn Reed
Writer(s) No Scripts
Music Direction:
Musical Theme(s): None
Announcer(s): Donn Reed
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
54
Episodes in Circulation: 47
Total Episodes in Collection: 49
Provenances:

Notes on Provenances:

All of the provenances vary wildly for this series. The most plausible, built as it was from actual transcription tapes, was the log of the RadioGOLDINdex. But the intended order of the various programs remains anyone's guess. Clearly, none of the programs aired in any defined chronological sequence. As the last table demonstrates, Dectective Unit 56, by tracking its mileage chronologically, was at wide varianace in the order in which the episodes it played a role in were involved.

The best we could resolve, by cross-referencing what we heard, what the RadioGOLDINdex cites as transcription information, and what the local, Southern California newspapers cited was the following amalgam of provenances.

As more verifiable provenances surface, we'll continue to update the following series log, as appropriate.

All rights reserved by their respective sources.







Night Watch Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
54-01-07
0
Code 459 Burglar and Nude Prowler
Y
[Audition]
[This is Car 54, Starting Mileage 6428]
54-02-24
0
Black-Eyed Wife Stabs Husband
N
[Audition]
54-04-05
1
Pre-empted
Y
Premiere Episode; Mondays, 7:05 p.m.
Patrol Car 54
54-04-12
1
Code 459 Burglar and Nude Prowler
Y
[Car 54, Starting Mileage 6428]

Novel Crime Show on KNX
A novel approach to radio's numerous crime series makes its debut on station KNX tonight when "Night Watch" is aired at 7:05 p. m. No actors, no sound effects and no music will be used in these factual presentations of police work which will feaure actual tape recordings of activities of the Culver City Police Dept. Tapes assembled for the series include a confession of homicide the statement of a narcotics addict and the arrival of police to arrest thieves in the act of burglarizing a home. The series will be heard week ly on Monday nights. The time last Monday was pre-empted for a speech by President Eisenhower
54-04-19
2
Code 311 in Southgate (Indecent Exposure)
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 7833]
54-04-26
--
Pre-empted
N
The highlights of the McCarthy- Army battle on KNX at 7:05 p. m. (pre-empting "Night Watch" one time only) and on KHJ at 9:30 p. m.
54-05-03
3
Code 459 Gas Station Burglary by 15-yr Old
[Pre-empted]
Y
[Car 50, Starting Mileage 2497]
54-05-10
4
Drunk Driver Accident, Stolen Newspaper and Armed Robbery
[Pre-empted]
Y
[Car 54, Starting Mileage 8531]

The highlights of the McCarthy- Army battle on KNX at 7:00 p. m. and on KHJ at 9:30 p. m.

Patrol Cars 52 and 54
54-05-17
5
Lady Shoplifting Shirts Detained for Narcotics Use
[Pre-empted]
Y
[Car 54, Starting Mileage 9421]

Highlights of the McCarthy-Army battle on KNX at 7:00 p. m. and on KHJ at 9:30 p. m.

54-05-24
6
Abandoned Children and Traffic Suicide Attempt
[Pre-empted]
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 11831]

A Summary of the McCarthy- Army hearings on KNX at 7:00 p. m. and on KHJ at 9:30 p. m.

Detective Unit 56
54-05-31 Moves to Fridays at 6:30 p.m.
54-06-04
7
Narcotics Suspect and Motel Room Suicide
Y
[Car 56, Code 06 at 2913 Belmont View Road]

6:30 p.m. KCBS—NIGHT WATCH: Police recorder Donn Reed and Detective Sgt. Ron Perkins interrogate a narcotic user on tonight's on-the-spot program.
54-06-11
8
Unknown
Y
RADIO HIGH LIGHTS — For the first time you'll actually hear a real "pusher" trying to make a sale of narcotics during "Night Watch" on KNX at 6:30 p. m.
54-06-18
9
Explosives Stolen by 15-yr Old
Y
[Car 53, Starting Mileage 2962]

A theft of explosives, a hairpulling match and a prowler in the rain are checked by police reporter Donn Reed on his "Night Watch" over KNX at 6:30 p. m.
54-06-25
10
Paper Hanger at Gas Station, Suicide and Razor Fight
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 2937]

A suicide report, a bad check-passer and a razor blade fight are investigated by "Night Watch" on KNX at 6:30 p.m.
54-07-02
11
Code 214 Drunk Woman Beating Man with Her Shoe
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 27665]
54-07-09
--
Moves to Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m.
54-07-13
12
Search for Missing 8-Yr Old Boy and Psycho 75-yr OldLady Record Player
Y
[Reed called 4 hours too early . . .]

The dramatic true story of the hunt for a little boy, missing 36 hours and presumed dead, is told, on "Night Watch" at 8 p.m. on KNX, also a new time slot. [Jack Carson Show takes the 6:30 p.m. time slot]

8:00--Night Watch: Dramatic true story of hunt for a little boy, missing for 36 hours and presumed dead (KCBS).
54-07-20
13
Three Winos Sleeping in Car and Abandoned Children
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 19438]
54-07-27
14
Code 211 Liquor Store Held Up with Hammer
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 6587]

A man commits a holdup armed with a hammer and a boy is caught transporting an entire marijuana bush during the actual recording on Night Watch" at 8 p. m. over KNX.

A man commits a holdup armed with a hammer and a boy is caught transporting an entire marijuana bush, on 'special tape recordings' made in Pasadena on "Night Watch" at 8 o'clock.
54-08-03
15
Woman's 3rd Complaint About Neighbor Boy
Y
[Reed late, stuck behind a freight train]
54-08-10
16
Three-Time Loser and 16-yr Old Shotgun Toter
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 28379]

A bad check passer, boasts of his prowess in an actual confession tape-recorded on "Night Watch. KCBS at 8 o'clock.
54-08-17
17
Lost Boy, Domestic Assault, and Lady Arsonist
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 6752]

Night Watch shifts to 6:00 p.m.
A woman arsonist, a little lost boy and a husband-and-wife assault case are grist for the mill of "Night Watch" on KNX at 6 p. m.
54-08-24
18
Single Woman Attempts Suicide and Cowboy Drunk in Bar with $150 and Water Pistols
Y
[2702 Devonshire]

Confession of a bad check artist as it actually occurred is on "Night Watch" over KNX at 6 p.m.
54-08-31
19
Escaped Female Mental Patient
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 7395]

54-08-31
19
14 yr Old Driving Car, Burglary Suspect and
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9872]
Moves to Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.
54-09-09
20
Western Union Holdup Suspect and Gambling Raid
Y
[Car 56 in service on special assignment]
54-09-16
21
'Inhalator' Response Unit and Broken Jaw
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9359]
54-09-23
22
Code 459 Car Strippers and Abandoned Girl in Theater
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9387]
54-09-30
23
Motel Linen Thief and Girl Locked Out of Home
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 8261]
54-10-07
24
Pick Up Artists and Who's Crazy
Y
[Car 56, No record of In Service]

Detective Unit 56 zeroes in on two men attempting to force two young girls into, their car and a high-speed chase is the result on Nightwatch at 7 p.m. on KNX.
54-10-14
KNX has made some other changes in the schedule as it puts "21st Precinct" in at 7 and "Suspense" at 7:30 and moves "Night Watch" to Wednesday.
54-10-20
25
Molested Women and Drunk Juvenile
Y
Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.

[Repeat to All Units on Night Watch in District 8, be on the lookout for . . .]
54-10-27
26
'Orange Ball' Sweats and Female Bridge Jumper
Y
["Hi, Perk, ya ready? Hi, Donn, yeah . . .]
54-11-03
27
Mississippi Call Request, Two Mental Cases, and Disorderly Conduct
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9458]
54-11-10
28
'Haywire' Grandma and Domestic Abuse
Y
["Well I don't know where I'd go, . . .]

Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
A young man armed with a gun and mouthing threats to kill his father is the case for "Night Watch" on KNX at 7- p.m.
54-11-17 Pre-empted
--
54-11-24
29
Hophead Teen and Kidnap
Y
["What'd I do wrong?!? . . .]

A psycho who carries a false lead to the police about a gang of juveniles and a hophead high on marijuana provide a sordid background on narcotics uses and abuses on KNX at 7 p.m.
54-12-01
30
Child Neglect and Psycho Lady with Butcher Knife
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 8659]
54-12-08
31
'Unknown Trouble' Call at Bungalow and Code 459 Burglary Call
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 7395]
54-12-15
32
Rolling Pin Victim and Suicide Attempt with Revolver and Pills
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9532]

Detective Unit 56 tries persuasion instead of force in an attempt to talk a hysterical woman out of committing suicide during "Nightwatch" on KNX at 7 p. m.
54-12-22
33
Unknown
54-12-29
34
Code 211 Goldie
N
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9874]

Through rooming houses and cheap hotels the detectives search to capture a drunk who stole the tiny baby of a friend during "Nightwatch" on KNX at 7 p.m.
55-01-05
35
'Lower Than Scum', Domestic Assault, and Telephone Call Burglar
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9835]
54-12-22
36
Unknown
Y
54-12-29
37
Unknown
Y
55-01-05
38
Unknown
N
Intent on breaking into a building, a burglar is unaware that he is being observed and recorded by "Nightwatch" on KNX at 7 p. m.

55-01-12
39
Hispanic Couple Domestic Disturbance and Aunt Attempts Suicide
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 10351]
55-01-19
40
Hit and Run, In-Law Trouble, and Prowling Juvenile
Y
["Control One to Car 59, KMA Clear Code 7 . . ."]

55-01-13
A hit-run driver, a woman suffering from mother-in-law trouble and a prowling 12-year old get the attention on Nightwatch at 8:30 p.m., WFBL.
55-01-26
41
Rescue Call for Girl with Polio and Foggy Night
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 11930]

Work of the fire department's rescue squad is vividly illustrated as "Nightwatch" goes along on a call over KNX at 7 p. m.
55-02-02
42
Liquor Store Robbery and Line Up
Y
["You're with four detectives, moving in on the home of a suspect . . ." ]
55-02-09
43
Ma and Pa Heinz Lover's Spat and Chase
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 10638]

Reporter Reed and Police Sgt. Perkins patch up a lovers' quarrel between an 80-year-old couple then take off on a chase after a holdup suspect. It's Nightwatch at 8.30 p. m. on WFBL
55-02-16
44
Marijuana Dealer
Y
["Unit 9 to 55, we can see . . ."]

How a woman was critically wounded by a gun wiped clean of fingerprints is explained by the woman in her hospital bed during "Nightwatch" on KNX at 7 p. m.
55-02-23
45
Knife, Bread, Body and Get-Away
Y
["I've been married for 33 years, . . ."]

"Unknown trouble" calls to police often lead to unusual events. So it Js with "Nightwatch" on KXX at 7 p.m. as an 80-year-old couple has a spat and calls for aid.
55-03-02
SPCL
Uncensored Outtakes
Y
["I haven't drove no car, I haven't drove no car . . . "]

Holdup of a liquor store is heard on Nightwatch at 7 p.m. on KNX. Incidentally, Sgt Ron Perkins of the program is being married Friday to Barbara Joyce Karr in Beverly Hills.
55-03-09
46
Flashgun, Bubble Gum Wrappers and Baby
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 11398]

A suicide attempt is the recorded feature of "Nightwatch" on KNX at 7 p.m. as a man tris to jump under a truck and is the object of quite a pursuit.

"Nightwatch" the radio crime detection program composed of taped recordings of police work, tonight will broadcast over KCBS at 7 o'clock spoken words and sounds incidental to the ultimate capture of a man trying to commit suicide by jumping under a truck.
55-03-16
47
Crazy and Buy
Y
["They thought I was crazy, but I wasn't . . . "]
55-03-23
48
Whiskers and Black Eye
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 12381]
55-03-30
49
Go**am Lady and Mr Peepers
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 12321]
55-04-31
SPCL
Motorcycle Theft
Y
[ . . . they were gonna move around the parking lot]

( Unaired from 55-03-31)
55-04-06
50
Unknown
N
55-04-13
51
Unknown
N
55-04-20
53
Unknown
N
[ Last Episode ] Replaced in timeslot by FBI In Peace and War

Night Watch RadioGOLDINdex (Copyright 2009) J. David Goldin [Cross-Check Log ]

Tape
Date
Episode Title Avail. Car and Mileage or Opening Notes
54-01-07
0
"The first call, a Code 2 alert that a burglary is taking place"
Y
[Audition]
[This is Car 54, Starting Mileage 6428]
54-02-24
0
"A wife of thirty-three years is given a black eye by her husband. "
[Audition]
54-04-05
1
"The first show of the series. "
Y
[54 in service, Starting Mileage 6428]
54-04-12
2
"The first report in the police car is about a case of indecent exposure. "
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 7833]
54-04-19
--
54-04-26
--
54-05-03
3
"The first report in the patrol car is a report of a burglary on Burlingame. "
Y
[Car 50, Starting Mileage 2497]
54-05-10
4
"The first report to the patrol car is about a traffic accident. A single car is found on its roof, the driver seems under the influence of "a couple of beers." "
Y
[Car 54, Starting Mileage 8531]
54-05-17
5
"The first call is about a shop-lifting suspect. A woman has been caught trying to steal shirts, and then is detained on a narcotics charge. "
Y
[Car 54, Starting Mileage 9421]
54-05-24
6
"The first call is about two abandoned kids while their "parents" drink in a bar."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 11831]
54-06-04
7
"The first case is about a large quantity of explosives that has been stolen."
Y
[Car 53, Starting Mileage 2962]
54-06-11
8
"The first call is to a gas station, where a suspect has been detained for passing bad checks."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 2937]
54-06-18
9
"The first call is about a woman who has been given a marijuana cigarette."
Y
54-06-25
10
"The first call is about an eight-year old boy who has been reported missing."
Y
[Reed called 4 hours too early . . .]
54-07-03
11
"The first police call is about a fight on a street corner. A woman is beating a man on the head with her shoe."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 27665]
54-07-10
12
"The first call is about a liquor store hold-up. The clerk is attacked by a man with a hammer."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 6587]
54-07-17
13
"The first call is about three men found sleeping in a car."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 19438]
54-07-24
14
"The first call is about a woman who is making her third complaint about a neighborhood boy."
Y
[Reed late, stuck behind a freight train]
54-07-31
15
"The first case is about a little lost boy. When the cops return the boy to his house, his parents aren't home."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 6752]
54-08-07
16
"The first case is about a passer of bad checks who turns out to be a three-time loser."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 28379]
54-08-14
17
"The first call is about a woman attempting suicide because "she has no man.""
Y
[2702 Devonshire]
54-08-21
18
"The first call is about an escaped woman, referred to as a "mental case," who may become violent."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 7395]
54-08-28
19
"The first call: two women are fighting in a bar. They might be mother and daughter."
N
"Evelyn Bigsby, the Managing Editor of TV Radio Life Magazine, gives the program an award as "Outstanding New Radio Program.""
54-09-04
20
"A gambling raid is being set up for midnight."
Y
[Car 56 in service on special assignment]
54-09-11
21
"The first case is about a traffic accident; a woman has been injured."
54-09-18
22
"The first call is about two suspects caught while stripping a car."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9387]
54-09-25
23
"The first call is about a burglary suspect caught in a motel, stealing towels and bed clothes!"
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 8261]
54-10-07
24
"The first call is about two guys attempting to pick up girls waiting at a bus stop."
Y
[Car 56, No record of In Service]
54-10-14
25
"The first call: a man has been reported to have molested two women in a gas station."
Y
[Repeat to All Units on Night Watch in District 8, be on the lookout for . . .]
54-10-21
26
"A drunk who tried to kick Don Reed in the teeth last night, has returned to the police station voluntarily."
Y
["Hi, Perk, ya ready? Hi, Donn, yeah . . .]
54-10-28
27
"A drunk at the police station wants to call Mississippi. He says that somebody may be using narcotics."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9458]
54-11-04
28
"The first call is about an elderly woman who is lost but doesn't want to go home."
Y
["Well I don't know where I'd go, . . .]
54-11-11
29
"The first call is about a juvenile "blowing his top" on marijuana."
Y
["What'd I do wrong?!? . . .]
54-11-18
30
"The first call is about a man in a white coat is walking with a butcher knife."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 8659]
54-11-25
31
"The first call is about "unknown trouble" on Sepulveda. A woman has called for help and then dropped the phone."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 7395]
54-12-02
32
"The first call is about a victim of a slugging who won't sign a complaint."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9532]
54-12-09
--
54-12-16
33
"A traffic accident is reported at Lincoln and Jefferson. A fight is taking place in front in front of a bar."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9874]
54-12-23
34
"The first call is about a holdup at a liquor store."
54-12-30
35
"The first call is about a burglary at Washington Place."
54-01-06
--
55-01-13
36
"The first call is about an hispanic couple having an argument."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 10351]
55-01-20
37
"The first call is a hit and run by a white sedan. "
55-01-27
38
"8:30 P. M. The first call is to help a five-year old polio victim. "
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 11930]
55-02-03
39
"The first case is an armed robbery suspect."
Y
["You're with four detectives, moving in on the home of a suspect . . ." ]
55-02-10
40
"8:30 P. M. The first call is about "unknown trouble.""
55-02-17
41
"8:30 P. M. The first call is about the arrest of a narcotics pusher."
55-02-24
42
"8:30 P. M. The first case is about a woman with a black eye who's been choked."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 12381]
55-03-10
43
"8:30 P. M. A man is apprehended taking flash pictures at a bus station."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 11398]
55-03-17
44
"8:30 P. M. The first case is about a woman at the police booking desk."
Y
["They thought I was crazy, but I wasn't . . . "]
55-03-24
45
"8:30 P. M. The first call is about a little girl that has been crying."
55-03-31
46
"8:30 P. M. The recording also includes an unedited recording that was not broadcast, using mild profanity."
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 12321]
55-03-31
47
A recording from program that was never aired about a stolen bicycle.
Y
[ . . . they were gonna move around the parking lot]
"The first call that comes into the precinct reports "unknown trouble" at North Sepulveda "

Night Watch Radio Program Car and Mileage Cross-Check Log: Detective Car(s) 56

Air Date Episode Title Avail. Car and Mileage or Opening Notes
54-06-25
10
Paper Hanger at Gas Station, Suicide and Razor Fight
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 2937]
54-07-27
14
Code 211 Liquor Store Held Up with Hammer
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 6587]
54-08-17
17
Lost Boy, Domestic Assault, and Lady Arsonist
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 6752]
54-08-31
19
Escaped Female Mental Patient
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 7395]
54-12-08
31
'Unknown Trouble' Call at Bungalow and Code 459 Burglary Call
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 7395]
54-04-19
2
Code 311 in Southgate (Indecent Exposure)
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 7833]
54-09-30
23
Motel Linen Thief and Girl Locked Out of Home
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 8261]
54-12-01
30
Child Neglect and Psycho Lady with Butcher Knife
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 8659]
54-09-16
21
'Inhalator' Response Unit and Broken Jaw
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9359]
54-09-23
22
Code 459 Car Strippers and Abandoned Girl in Theater
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9387]
54-11-03
27
Mississippi Call Request, Two Mental Cases, and Disorderly Conduct
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9458]
54-12-15
32
Rolling Pin Victim and Suicide Attempt with Revolver and Pills
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9532]
55-01-05
35
'Lower Than Scum', Domestic Assault, and Telephone Call Burglar
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9835]
54-08-31
19
14 yr Old Driving Car, Burglary Suspect and
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9872]
54-12-29
34
Code 211 Goldie
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 9874]
55-01-12
39
Hispanic Couple Domestic Disturbance and Aunt Attempts Suicide
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 10351]
55-02-09
43
Ma and Pa Heinz Lover's Spat and Chase
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 10638]
55-03-09
46
Flashgun, Bubble Gum Wrappers and Baby
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 11398]
54-05-24
6
Abandoned Children and Traffic Suicide Attempt
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 11831]
55-01-26
41
Rescue Call for Girl with Polio and Foggy Night
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 11930]
55-03-30
49
Go**am Lady and Mr Peepers
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 12321]
55-03-23
48
Whiskers and Black Eye
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 12381]
55-03-09
46
Flashgun, Bubble Gum Wrappers and Baby
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 11398]
54-07-20
13
Three Winos Sleeping in Car and Abandoned Children
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 19438]
54-07-02
11
Code 214 Drunk Woman Beating Man with Her Shoe
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 27665]
54-08-10
16
Three-Time Loser and 16-yr Old Shotgun Toter
Y
[Car 56, Starting Mileage 28379]


Night Watch Radio Program Biographies





Donn Reed [Donald Reed]
(Police Recorder)

(1915-2003)

Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1954 Night Watch
1956? Police Recorder
(Audition)


Donn Reed circa 1954
Donald Reed was born in Los Angeles, the youngest of 3 sons to a Medical Doctor. Upon graduating from high school, he joined the Army Air Forces at the beginning of WW II.

Upon returning to civilian life, Donn joined CBS affiliate KNX where he created the two-year Night Watch program (1954-55), which brought the grittier aspects of routine big-city Police and Detective patrols to the air. Ground-breaking for its time, Night Watch was aired in documentary style as Donald--as Donn Reed, Police Recorder--patrolled the areas surrounding Culver City, California with one or two detectives from the Culver City Police Department.

Donn auditioned another similar program following the national success of Night Watch, provisionally named, Police Recorder. Police Recorder was to have combined Donn Reed and Detective Sgt. Ron Perkins' recorded field interviews with the expertise of a Police Psychologist for analysis. The project never progressed beyond the Audition stage.

Following Night Watch, Donald joined KABC Radio for three years from 1957 to 1960. Donn's time with KABC saw him join Captain 'Max' Schumacher for Air Watch, KABC's daily drive time morning and evening program checking on traffic congestion above the skies of Los Angeles. Air Watch was the brainchild of John Pace, general manager of KABC-AM (790). Air Watch was announced Dec. 30, 1957. A contemporaneous report by an L.A. Times staff writer quoted the following:

"Both Reed and Schumacher confess that after flying over the freeways for the past two months they are terrified to come down out of the air and brave automobile traffic. Both drive roundabout routes to get home rather than traverse the freeways."

Donn moved to Los Angeles' KMPC Radio in 1961. He soon after rejoined Capt 'Max' and his "infuriated palm tree", as famous local DJ, Dick Whittinghill used to refer to Schumacher's helicopter. Donn worked for KMPC for twenty years from 1961 to 1981, receiving several Golden Mike Awards in the process.

Twice widowed, Donn was an avid fisherman.


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