It was 1953. Eisenhower was in the white house. The New York Yankees won the World Series for the fifth year consecutively. The theme music for the television series, “Dragnet,” rose to the top of the Billboard charts. It was also the year that Los Angeles had a record number of homicides—and more than twice as many suicides.

In the new book, “LAPD ’53,” crime and historical fiction author, James Ellroy and Executive Director of the Los Angeles Police Museum, Glynn Martin, take readers on a photographic tour of the city’s violent past. The eighty-five duotone photos that made the final cut are representative of a day in the life of America’s most provocative police agency.

“There’s no city with a police force quite as controversial, ambiguously defined and progressive as the LAPD,” Ellroy told TIME. “Geography is destiny. I was born in LA, the film noir epicenter, in 1948…

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