Charles Santore, The Rookies: Sam Melville, Georg Stanford Brown, and Michael Ontkean
After several police controversies in the late 1960s and early ’70s, there were abundant negative opinions regarding the police among the public, especially in California. Television shows that depicted police officers in a realistic and humanistic way, like The Rookies, grew in popularity. New cadets in the Southern California Police Department Mike Danko (Sam Melville, 1936–1989), Terry Webster (Georg Stanford Brown, born 1943), and William Gillis (Michael Ontkean, born 1946) came from different backgrounds including the military, college, and social work. Their characters helped the public understand the difficulties that police officers experienced.