‘Dragnet’ Star, Jack Webb, Was Granted Full Police Honors At His Funeral

Jack Webb spent years working in radio and television. In fact, he worked up until the moment he died in December 1982 and left a project unfinished. Even with a variety of works under his belt, Webb was best known for his work on Dragnet, the 1960s police procedural that followed Joe Friday as he investigated cases. Dragnet wasn’t just wildly popular with the television audience at large; the LAPD had a special place in its heart for the show and Webb.

Jack Webb was credited with bringing a positive image to the LAPD

Webb wasn’t just an actor; the famed fictional detective was also the creator of the show. Webb reportedly wanted to create a show that treated the police force with respect. He managed to do just that, and the LAPD was thankful for it. In fact, Webb was once credited with creating a positive image of the LAPD.

Jack Webb in 'Dragnet'
Jack Webb in ‘Dragnet’ | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

For the average viewer, Dragnet was a weekly look into how the police worked and investigated crimes. Webb’s catchphrase “Just the facts, ma’am,” took on a life of its own and cemented Webb’s place in television history. He wasn’t done with Hollywood when he died, though. He wanted to continue his work on a new police procedural. Instead, the LAPD found themselves honoring the fictional member of their squad instead.

Jack Webb was hoping to reboot Dragnet when he died suddenly

Webb had success after Dragnet, but none of the shows he worked on were as successful or as enjoyable for him as Dragnet. In hopes of recapturing the magic, he planned to retool the series and launch a reboot. Webb had gone as far as casting a new partner, and he reportedly created five scripts. The series was planned for 1983.

RELATED: CBS Slammed For Their Shows About Law Enforcement After Releasing A Statement On Racism

In December 1982, Webb died suddenly at his home of an apparent heart attack. Closer notes that Webb smoked three packs of cigarettes a day, and was a workaholic, often staying later than anyone else. His death put an end to the Dragnet reboot he dreamed of. He was 62. While Webb never made the Dragnet reboot he dreamed of, a 1987 film of the same name paid tribute to the original Joe Friday.

The LAPD honored Webb with full police honors at his funeral  

The LAPD was a huge fan of Webb and the series he created, claiming that the show managed to bridge the gap between the public and the LAPD. Upon hearing of his death, the LAPD honored Webb. The department provided him full police honors at his funeral and retired his badge number.

Ben Alexander and Jack Webb in 'Dragnet'
Ben Alexader and Jack Webb in ‘Dragnet’ | Bettmann/Getty Images

According to the New York Times, flags at the LAPD headquarters and outposts were flown at half-staff following Webb’s death. Police honors, including a police escort, were offered to Webb’s family for his funeral, and badge number 714 was retired. Webb was later honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well. He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1993.