17 august 1968 & “your policeman” coloring book
#OTD-ish 17 August 1968 White Police Chief John Layton, supported undoubtedly by a public relations team within the police department and/or the city government, authored the Your Policeman Coloring Book and distributed copies to children, parents, teachers and others throughout the city. It was an attempt to counter the knowledge, experience and research that the police were a violent force in the city. The coloring book was part of a larger reform campaign that sought to humanize and legitimize the police for the youngest residents and to get them to see the police as agents of the city that were worthy of trust.
Notice the smiling white male police officer in the squad car. Notice the white adult male hand that is making/coloring/manifesting this imagery before our eyes. In 1968, there were -~2,200 police officers, the majority of whom were white males and largely lived outside of the city.
You may comment below. Do you, a family member or neighbor remember this coloring book? Do you have a copy? Were you involved in the making of this coloring book? What encounters did you have with the police in 1968?
Photo source: Courtesy DC Piublic Library Special Collections, Julius Hobson Collection.