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Forcefully directing traffic

Forcefully directing traffic

Oct. 25, 1979: A forceful gesture by Officer William Melvin gets the idea across.

Los Angeles Police Department Traffic Officer William Melvin directs vehicles during rush hour at the corner of 7th and Figueroa streets. The eight-year traffic veteran stated that not every day is the same — pedestrians and motorists are unpredictable.

These three photos by staff photographer Ken Hively were published on the front page of the Los Angeles Times’ Metro section on Nov. 5, 1979. The accompanying short text block read:

Traffic Officer William Melvin isn’t one to hide his emotions. He mans the rush hour post at 7th and Figueroa Sts.

When he wants you to GO, you know.

When he wants you to STOP, you know.

And when something about the way you drive, or the looks of your vehicle, or anything else leaves him just-plain-disgusted … well … you know about that too.

Officer Melvin sometimes uses a glare to good effect. Credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

When it is time to go, motorists are advised to move out at once. Credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

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