Officer James A. Reed
Date of birth:Never given in any episodes
Place of birth: Probably L.A.
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 180 lbs.
Badge Number: 2430
Serial Number: 13985
Hire Date: July 7
Marital Status: Married to Jean Reed, 1966. Met her at a high school basketball game. One son, James Reed Jr or "Jimmy", born six months into his tour as an officer.
Childhood: Father owned a gas station; worked at an airport fueling planes; wrote an essay in high school about wanting to be a fireman; also wanted to be a train engineer. Was All-Conference in basketball (although it apparently was a very small conference); ran track and field; first car was a 1950 Ford, lavender with frenched headlights, dashboard painted white and an orange gearshift knob, later stolen. Played football in college, injured his back. Has one sister, no name or age given. May have a great aunt named Letitia, but he may have manufactured her existence (and her headache remedy) to pull Malloy's leg. May also have an Uncle Fred, who was a busybody who tried to settle family disputes and ended up making everyone hate him, but he may also have manufactured him to keep Pete from getting too involved in a dispute between Sgt. MacDonald and his son. Has a brother-in-law who sells insurance.
Career Highlights: Graduated 9th in his class from the Academy at 23 years of age. Maintained a Sharpshooter shooting qualification. Earned Medal of Valor for pulling his wounded partner, Pete Malloy, from no-man's land in the middle of a shootout with narcotics suspects. Commendation for coming up with a plan to pick up truants in a successful attempt to curb after-school, juvenile robberies. Won a gold medal in the Police Olympics in Lake Tahoe.
Career Lowlights: On his first patrol with his training officer, Pete Malloy, he disobeyed orders by going after a gang in the park on his own initiative--no official reprimand, but received a blistering tirade from Malloy. Missed an ankle-knife while patting down a suspect. Dented the patrol car when Malloy sent him to fill it with gas. Failed to wait for dispatch to come back with want/warrant information on camper/pickup, resulting in his and Pete's abduction by bank robbers (shared the blame with Pete).
Job-related Injuries: Twisted ankle chasing a suspect down an embankment; shot in the upper back during an undercover narcotics investigation; shot in the left thigh during a seemingly routine traffic stop; injured left shoulder when he was shoved into his locker in a scuffle with Officer Charlie Burnside; rendered unconscious when he walked into a bank robbery during his lunch hour, and again when he and Pete were transporting a prisoner on extradition from LA County and were ambushed. Hit in the forehead with a bottle during a riot. Sustained multiple bruises after a brawl with a former pro-wrestler in the man's living room. Kicked in the jaw by a fleeing suspect. Not job-related, but sustained a severe sunburn during a winter warm spell when he fell asleep in his back yard.
Personality Traits: Honest, trustworthy. Trusting, although at times almost naive, which has gotten him into trouble with door-to-door salesmen. Forgiving. Compassionate. Has tendency to get too emotionally or personally involved with cases. Has tendency to brood. Hard-headed. Stubborn, especially when he feels he's in the right. Frugal. Somewhat goofy sense of humor (see personality quirks below). Gets along well with most of his fellow officers, with a few exceptions (notably, Ed Wells at times, and Charlie Burnside). Likes to help the underdog (ie: his mentoring and encouragement of Reserve Officer Al Porter). Has a definite "knight on a white charger" streak. Strong desire to help young people. Usually kind to the elderly. Not above needling his partner, but usually refrains from any biting or borderline cruel teasing. Organized. Responsible. Tends to volunteer for tasks and then regret it later. Bit of a neatnick. Extremely stoic when seriously injured but tends to whine about smaller wounds or illnesses. Started out as a very young, very green and idealistic rookie, but by the series' end, he had matured into a level-headed, highly skilled police officer, whose idealism is still strong but tempered a bit by the realities of the often futile nature of the job.
Personality Quirks: Likes to tell corny jokes. Enjoys riddles. Tends to forget to clear for patrol if he's upset. Clicks his pen when he's deep in thought or nervous. Also fiddles with Mac's desk pens when he's upset. Likes to do off-the-cuff (and not very good) impressions. Has moments of unusual insecurity - example: was afraid to ask a famous folk singer to appear at a police function because he was serving him a subpoena at the same time. Enjoys needling his partner about his aversion to marriage. Chews his lower lip while worrying or thinking. Has a habit of tapping little kids on the head with his index finger.
Favorite Foods: Candy, medium-rare ranchburger and chili from Duke's, custard, goulash, "mozarella, provolone, garlic, salami". The only food specifically mentioned that he doesn't like is Chinese. At all-you-can-eat buffets usually goes back to refill his plate multiple times. Has been acccused by his partner of having a tapeworm.
Hobbies: Restoring old trucks and cars. Drag racing. Auto racing. Refinishing furniture, although he apparently buys the furniture and never seems to get around to the actual refinishing. Plays on the Division softball team. Enjoys watching boxing, basketball, baseball, football, is a sports-nut in general. Fishing. Plays guitar. Likes to spend time with his wife and son, James Jr. (Jimmy). Often joins his wife as a partner-in-crime in her attempts to set Pete up with eligible females (without success). Plays pool, apparently better than his partner. Reads horoscopes for fun.
Notable Quotes/Favorite Expressions:
"It's all a matter of organization."
"Nothing ever gets done if nobody ever volunteers for anything."
"There's always something to be thankful for."
"See? A kind word never hurts."
"A home and a family, that's where the satisfactions are."
"We're talking about a human life, something too valuable not to care."
"You rat." - to partner Pete Malloy
"Terrific." - used sarcastically.