In 1955, a contest was announced in the Los Angeles Police Department's internal magazine, BEAT. The contest involved devising a motto for the Los Angeles Police Academy. The motto needed to be something that would succinctly express the ideals to which those who serve as Los Angeles Police Officers are dedicated.

The winning entry, "to protect and to serve", was submitted by Officer Joseph S. Dorobek and served as the LAPD academy's motto until, by City Council action, it became the official motto of the entire Los Angeles Police Department in 1963. It continues to appear on the Department's patrol cars as a symbol of commitment to service.

"To protect and to serve" has become one of the most recognizable phrases in law enforcement. Throughout its almost 50 years of use, it has come to embody the spirit, dedication, and professionalism of the Officers of the Los Angeles Police Department.





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866-444-LAPD (866-444-5273) or joinlapd@lapd.lacity.org


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