Officer Friendly is a model program to acquaint children and young adults with law enforcement officials as a part of a community relations campaign. The program was especially popular in the United States from the 1960s to the 1980s, but it continues in some police departments. Officer Friendly is generally not a specific character, and is in the public domain.
In 1974, Sears Roebuck, Inc partnered with John Coleman, Jr with the Hampton, Virginia police department to take the program in classroom. Classroom kits were created including coloring books, videos and teaching guides with activities.
The Officer Friendly programs most famously involved police officers visiting pre-school and kindergarten classrooms. In many parts of the United States, Officer Friendly coloring books are distributed to children.
Officer Friendly in the media
There have been many parodies of the nearly ubiquitous program. In many cases, the term "Officer Friendly" is used sarcastically to refer to an abusive police officer.
Twisted Issues, an underground movie, features a song by a punk rock band called Officer Friendly, although not on the soundtrack that was sold separately.
Ben Folds Five mentions Officer Friendly in their song, "Underground".
Leftover Crack mentions Officer Friendly in their song, "Crack City Rockers".
Sir Mix-A-Lot mentions Officer Friendly in his song, "One Time's Got No Case".
The Tossers mention Officer Friendly in their song, "Altercations".
SCTV performed a parody skit called "Officer Friendly" November 28, 1977.
Rick Grimes, a former Sheriff's Deputy in The Walking Dead, sarcastically introduced himself to villain Merle Dixon as Officer Friendly, while handcuffing him [in Season 1, episode 2 ("Guts")], and Merle thereafter referred to him that way, derisively [e.g., in Season 3, episode 15 ("This Sorrowful Life")].