This film is part of Free

New York City Police

A New York City cop goes undercover to solve a double-murder case, in a report which shows ordinary American policemen fighting America’s post-war crime wave.

Documentary 1947 18 mins


Designed to reassure as well as excite and entertain, this tribute to the US police force praises the bravery and resourcefulness of the American cop on the beat. A range of dramatic reconstructions show the challenges that patrolmen could expect to face in the line of duty, from dealing with drunk drivers, to delivering babies and tracking down murderers. A sequence showing a policeman gunned down by car thieves provides a grim reminder of the dangers of the job.

This film shows the American police force - New York’s in particular - facing up to the challenges of the post-war crime wave, which, according to the commentary, saw a 29% rise in the murder rate in US towns and cities in six months during 1946. New York City Police Commissioner Arthur Wallander is seen addressing the latest graduates from the New York City Police Academy, encouraging them to do a ‘good honest job’: possibly an oblique reference to previous corruption scandals in the force. It is interesting to compare this film - enjoyable though it is - to the 1939 March of Time film ‘Metropolis’ which arguably provides a more nuanced and multi-faceted insight into the workings of the New York Police Department.