A Contrast in Police Trainers: T.J. Hooker vs. R.C. Hindi

Let's see how this TV hero stacks up against a real-life cop

By Dave Grossi  |   Nov 21, 2017
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Most retired cops recognize the name T.J. Hooker. And many know who Bob Hindi is. If you don’t, just take a quick peek at your expandable baton. See that big rounded cap at the end of your stick. That’s the Hindi Baton Cap, invented by now-retired Las Vegas Metro PD officer Bob Hindi.

Bob Hindi, the real deal.

I’ve known Bob for 30 years. We’ve trained together, taught together, and I had the honor of co-authoring, along with my Street Survival Seminar teaching partner, Bob Willis, Hindi’s excellent training manual, The Hindi Duty Belt SAFETY System.

Recently, I’ve noticed that the 80s cop show “T.J. Hooker” has resurfaced on an oldies TV channel down here in Paradise. It originally ran from mid-March 1982 through late May 1986 on two different networks, ABC (1982 – 1985) and CBS (1985 – 1986). I have to admit, I did enjoy the show when I had occasion to watch it. However, I’ve began taking another look at the program, this time through another set of eyes—tactical rather than entertainment.

And I also thought it might be neat to look how the fictional cop/trainer, Thomas Jefferson (TJ) Hooker, Sgt., LCPD, handled things compared to how a real-life cop/trainer, Robert C. Hindi, Officer, LVMPD, took care of business.

In the show’s premier, LCPD Detective Sgt. T.J. Hooker, decided to relinquish his plainclothes position after his partner is killed during a bank robbery response and go back in uniform as a street boss to “rid the streets” of the vermin who killed his partner. The series is unclear how he gets assigned to the academy precinct as both a street cop and a trainer. But needless to say, T.J. decides to venture out on a series of investigations first with a rookie partner, Officer Vince Romano, and later in a solo squad. The rest, as they say, is history.

So here’s a tongue-in-cheek 10-point side-by-side comparison of Hooker vs. Hindi for your reading pleasure. See if you recognize any of the idiosyncrasies of the fictional TJ Hooker character.

Hooker vs. Hindi

Hooker advocates the “PR-24 throw” to take down fleeing suspects. Hindi, a real international instructor in both PR-24 and expandable baton, advocates keeping your baton in your hand and use it to control resistive subjects.

Hooker has his keys dangling from his duty belt. Hindi says “keep the noise down” and teaches banding your keys together as a means of noise reduction.

Hooker doesn’t have a clue what the “universal cover mode” means. Hindi teaches the Golden Rule: finger off the trigger until you’re on target and have decided to shoot.

Hooker believes in the “gun along side your face” camera shot and has never heard of the “low ready” position. Hindi teaches tactical movement with your firearm down at 45-degree angle.

Hooker is a fictional physical skills trainer. Hindi is the real deal with the instructor creds to prove it.

Hooker wore a toupee. Hindi has hair.

Hooker wrecked more cars during his five-year TV run than a NASCAR driver does in an entire career. Hindi says only three went back to the motor pool in different conditions than when they were checked out. That’s an average of one every 9.3 years.

Hooker worked for five years (portraying a 15-year-veteran according to the show) in a fictional Southern California police agency, the LCPD. Hindi did a full 28 in Sin City.

Hooker rarely wore a seatbelt. Hindi always buckled up.

Hooker has a “spare tire.” Hindi has “arm guns.”

Conclusion

Well, TV fans, that’s it. I hope you enjoyed this brief trip down TV memory lane. By the way, if you want more info on Bob Hindi’s training programs, log onto www.BatonCap.com or call him at (702) 896-8449.

A special thanks to my friend and fellow trainer, Bob Hindi for providing the details of his nearly 30-year police career.

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Dave Grossi
Dave Grossi is a retired police lieutenant from upstate NY now residing in southwest FL. He was the Lead Instructor for the Calibre Press, Inc. Street Survival Seminars from 1988 through 2000.
Dave Grossi

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