21st Precinct
21ST PRECINCT was one of the realistic police drama series
of the early- to mid-1950's that were aired in the wake of
DRAGNET.  Hard-boiled private detective series that often
portrayed police as inept or incompetent were losing favor. 
NBC's DRAGNET had proven that a realistic police show could
attract and hold an audience. 

NOTE:  the official title of the series according to the
series scripts and the CBS series promotional materials was
PRECINCT which appears in many Old-Time Radio books.

In 1953 CBS decided to use New York City as the backdrop for
their own half-hour police series and focus on the day-to-
day operations of a single police precinct.  Actual cases
would be used as the basis for stories.  It was mentioned in
each episode's closing by the announcer  that, "Twenty-first
Precinct is presented with the official cooperation of the
Patrolmen's Benevolent Association an organization of more
than 20,000 members of the Police Department, City of New

The show was written by Stanley Niss to put the listener
into the action right from the start of each episode. Here
is a portion of a typical opening for the series.  

A call for assistance would come into the Precinct's
switchboard and a Sergeant would take the information and
the night's case would start. 
Call fades out.

  "You are in the muster room at the Twenty-first Precinct. 
  The nerve center.  A call is coming through.  You will
  follow the action taken pursuant to that call from this
  minute until the final report is written in the 124 Room
  at the Twenty-First Precinct."

Call fades back in and more information is recorded by the
sergeant.  Then the call fades out.

  "Twenty-first Precinct.  It's just lines on a map of the
  City of New York.  Most of the 173,000 people wedged into
  the nine-tenths of a square mile between Fifth Avenue and
  the East River wouldn't know, if you asked them, that
  they lived or worked in the Twenty First.  Whether they
  know it or not, the security of their persons, their
  homes, and their property is the job of the men of the
  Twenty-first Precinct.

  "The Twenty-first:  160 patrolmen, eleven sergeants and
  four lieutenants of whom I'm the boss.  My name is
  Kennelly. Frank Kennelly.  I'm Captain in Command of the

Each episode would end with another call for help coming in
and the Sergeant would dutifully record the particulars. 
Often this call would deal with the subject of the next
week's episode.  

Then came the closing, delivered by the Captain.  It was
written to reinforce the idea that police work never ends.  
  "And so it goes.  Around the clock, through the week;
  every day, every year.  A police precinct in the city of
  New York is a flesh and blood merry-go-round.  Anyone can
  catch the brass ring.  Or the brass ring can catch

The Captain was the primary character and also acted as the
narrator.  Three actors played the Captain's role:  Everett
Sloane as Kennelly, James Gregory as Cronin, and Les Damon
as Keough.  They were ably assisted in supporting roles by
Ken Lynch as Lt. Matt King and Harold Stone as Sgt. Waters. 
Santos Ortega appeared frequently as Lt. Patrick "Red"
Gorman.  Many of New York's finest actors appeared in this

21ST PRECINCT was unusual in that it used no music.  Some
Armed Forces Radio Service broadcasts used an instrumental
version of "I'll Take Manhattan" as the opening and closing

This show was aired on a sustaining basis by CBS. Only
episode 015 had a sponsor:  the Plymouth division of the
Chrysler Corporation.

The episode "The Special Orders" provided the transition
between the departure of Capt. Kennelly and the introduction
of Capt. Cronin.  In this episode, Kennelly is told he is
being promoted to Deputy Inspector and transferred to the
Manhattan West Borough Headquarters.  Cronin appears in the
episode to take command of the 21st.

In episode 145, the initial episode with Les Damon as Capt.
Keough, there was no such transition.  It was simply
mentioned that Capt. Cronin had been transferred.

Capt. Frank Kennelly - Everett Sloane
episodes 001 - 109 & 135
Capt. Vincent Cronin - James Gregory
episodes 109 - 144
Capt. Thomas Keough - Les Damon
episodes 145 -159
Lt. Matt King - Ken Lynch
Sgt. Waters - Harold Stone
Lt. Patrick "Red" Gorman - Santos Ortega

GUEST STARS (In descending order of frequency of
Wendell Holmes, John Sylvester, Bill Quinn, Frank Marth,
Lawson Zerbe, Mandel Kramer, Bill Zuckert, George Petrie,
John Larkin, Bill Lipton, Elaine Rost, Elspeth Eric, Bill
Smith, Ethel Everett, Abby Lewis, Eric Dressler, Ralph
Camargo, Larry Haines, Mason Adams, Byrna Raeburn, Joan
Loring, William Redfield, Jean Gillespie, Eileen Palmer, Joe
DeSantis,  Phil Sterling, Frank Campanella, Bob Readick,
Barabara Weeks, Joe Julian, Jack Orrison, Amzie Strickland,
Scott Tennyson, Luis Van Rooten, and many others.

 53/07/07    1  The Nolen Brothers
 53/07/14    2  Case of the Young Incorrigible
 53/07/21    3  The Bartender
 53/07/28    4  The Twins
 53/08/04    5  Case of the Sailor's Family
 53/08/11    6  Policeman Shot - Sucide Or Murder?
 53/08/18    7  The Mainliner
 53/08/25    8  The Bookkeeper
 53/09/01    9  The Friend
 53/09/08   10  The Certified 600
 53/09/15   11  The Dog Day
 53/09/22   12  The Homecoming
 53/09/29   13  The Shooting Gallery
 53/10/06   14  The Bird
 53/10/13   15  Case of the Picture
 53/10/20   16  Case of the Foundling
 53/10/27   17  Case of the Fall
 53/11/03   18  Case of the Patient
 53/11/17   20  Case of the Basket
 53/11/24   21  Case of the Ditch
 53/12/04   22  Case of the L.D. 80
 53/12/25   25  The Plant
 54/01/01   26  Case of the Stairs
 54/01/13   27  The Platform
 54/01/20   28  The Visitors
 54/01/27   29  The Kid
 54/02/03   30  The Baker
 54/02/10   31  Case of the Drive
 54/02/24   33  The Cure
 54/03/03   34  The Door
 54/03/24   37  The Package
 54/04/07   39  The Collar
 54/04/14   40  The Brother
 54/04/28   42  The Story
 54/05/05   43  The Cabinet
 54/05/12   44  The Dollar
 54/05/19   45  The Day
 54/05/26   46  The Father
 54/06/02   47  The Needle
 54/06/09   48  The Book
 54/06/23   50  The Will
 54/06/30   51  The Red Tiger
 54/07/07   52  The Mover
 54/07/14   53  The Shotgun
 54/07/21   54  The Ledge
 54/07/28   55  The DOA
 54/08/04   56  The Job
 54/08/18   58  The Iron
 54/09/01   60  The Copperhead
 54/09/22   63  The Suit
 54/09/29   64  The Walker
 54/10/06   65  The Jet
 54/10/27   68  The Mark
 54/11/10   70  The Sticks
 54/11/24   72  The Beaver
 54/12/15   75  The Loser
 54/12/22   76  The Giver
 54/12/29   77  The Wife
 55/01/05   78  The Trade
 55/01/19   80  The Notes
 55/01/26   81  The Fire Escape
 55/02/02   82  The Daughter
 55/02/09   83  The Surety
 55/02/16   84  The Lender
 55/02/23   85  The Museum
 55/03/02   86  The Dowager
 55/03/16   88  The Declaration
 55/04/13   92  The Communication
 55/04/20   93  The Doctor
 55/07/02   94  The Artery
 55/07/30   95  The Pair
 55/08/06   96  The Summons
 55/08/13   97  The Tree
 55/11/04  109  The Special Orders
 55/11/11  110  The Friend
 55/11/25  112  The Son
 55/12/23  116  The Beard
 55/12/30  117  The Slugger
 56/03/29  130  The Homecoming
 56/04/05  131  The Six Hundred
 56/04/12  132  The Shopping Bag
 56/04/19  133  The Poodle
 56/04/26  134  The Gorilla
 56/05/10  136  The Basket
 56/05/17  137  The Partners
 56/05/24  138  The Paperhanger
 56/05/31  139  The Neighbor
 56/06/14  141  The Books
 56/06/21  142  The Brother
 xx/xx/xx       Two Thieves on the Loose


 56/05/31  139  The Neighbor
 56/06/14  141  The Books
 56/06/21  142  The Brother
 xx/xx/xx       Two Thieves on the Loose