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  • COPS, the TV show

    Has your agency ever had the crew from COPS film you or agency? Would you be willing to have a COPS crew ride with you? Why or why not? What input does that agency have on what is aired if any?

    [ 06-15-2002: Message edited by: DA Police ]

  • #2
    SDPD does not allow COPS to ride with them though the San Diego SO office has had them in the past

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    • #3
      I can't comment on the topic specifically, but I had to make mention of one of the segments I saw on Saturday's episode. This was a re-run, because I remember seeing it several months ago and being surprised at it back then. In the first half-hour, in either the 1st or 2nd segment, the officer makes a traffic stop and the driver is not being too cooperative -- he's a "no" person wrapped in "huh?" packaging. The officer seems to lose his cool pretty quickly (at least the footage makes it seem that way) and, after handcuffing the subject, says, "Are you deaf or just..." At that point he must have remembered the cameraman and sound tech that were hovering a few feet away from him and let the "stupid" hang.

      This got my goad because that's just the sort of thing that gives cops a bad public image - some hothead loudmouth berating a guy who (to the average citizen) is not causing a problem.

      Do departments choose the officers that COPS follows, or is it a volnuteer thing? If the departments choose, I would imagine they would pick the officers that are going to represent their organization in the best possible light. This one sure didn't do much for his department.
      Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

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      • #4
        That is the exact episode that propmted my post. I would guess that the officer did not let the STUPID "hang", it was more then likely edited over with white noise. If you have never noticed in the past, there is one set of call signs a dispatcher calls quite often, it makes no matter the ageny they are riding with, it is the same dispatcher calling the "15-90 or 15-90 adam". Also, you will here an officer go out at an address and you will hear him say something like car 57 out at 123 _________ is edited in instead of everyone hearing "maple street".

        After that episode and it went to commercial, I said to myself "what the hell was that all about?" (out loud even)

        [ 06-17-2002: Message edited by: DA Police ]

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        • #5
          They taped the last cops down here for Mardi Gras but it just turned into a public relations commerical for the City of New Orleans. The police were fighting and the other guys were putting there hats back on there head when they fell off. You can't get a LEO to wear a hat on a regular basis. Then after the Mardi Gras the police walked down the street shaking hands with the tourist asking them if they had a good time and come back. Give me a break. What really happens is the water trucks come through and soots water from sidewalk to sidewalk to everybody leaves.
          Stay safe and watch your back. Survived Katrina. Now a Official member of the Chocolate City Police.

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          • #6
            In one of the segments this past saturday night, a Des Moines (I think) cop chases a guy on a motorcycle. The perp ditches and runs, but he is caught by the cop. The cop then cuffs the guy and begins to search.

            He rolled the perp over on his (perp's) back and begins to search the wasteline and legs. The cop stood straddling the perp the entire time. He's lucky he didn't get kicked in his ....
            "Integrity is like virginity. Once it's lost, you can't get it back." --drunkhunter

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            • #7
              Departments choose to be on COPS... and they have first rights of refusal to footage.

              The COPS team shoots and the cuts the segment.. then it's presented to the Dept for approval... the Dept must approve the show before it's aired....

              That's why so many departments are willing to go along with it.

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              • #8
                The episode that really gets me is the one in Des Moines where the cops stops a van....and then searches it for "apparently" no reason. Now I realize the tapes are edited, but I don't believe that is a good thing to show....

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by occiferdave:
                  Departments choose to be on COPS... and they have first rights of refusal to footage...the Dept must approve the show before it's aired....That's why so many departments are willing to go along with it.
                  Actually Dave I heard it was the OTHER way around...that if you as a Chief/Sheriff allow COPS to film your department, you agree that COPS can show anything unless it's illegal (such as ID'ing juvenile suspects) or will jeopardize a criminal investigation.

                  That's the reason why my department has repeatedly refused to allow COPS to ride along...we want the right to restrict what gets aired. As far as why certain departments allow it...I think they're simply looking for the publicity.

                  From the many scenes of poor police tactics, or just plain poor judgment (like the Fort Worth cop who tried to be a hero and rescue an old lady from a burning house, only to find out it wasn't HER house that was on fire!), I find it difficult to believe that a Chief/Sheriff would willingly ALLOW such embarassing footage to be aired on international TV (COPS is also seen in many other countries).

                  [ 06-18-2002: Message edited by: Sig220Man ]

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                  • #10
                    Hey Sig

                    Actually, I have a friend that works on COPS, him and I use to be fire photographers about 15 years ago... anyway... he now works on feature films and reality TV shows....

                    From what he told me, the production of COPS goes like this...

                    * Researchers targets PD
                    * Producers approach PD to do show
                    * PD agrees to do show
                    * 4 crews go and tape (3 in car, 1 pick up crew to do the drive-by, establishing shots)
                    * Raw tape is copied and given to department
                    * Raw tape is edit into segments
                    * Edited copy is shown to the brass
                    * Brass decides if the edited copy is ok for broadcast
                    * If not ok, then back to editing.
                    * Copies are made for the department
                    * Final copy is aired.

                    The only reason so many departments are doing this show is because of publicity, and the added security of knowing that they have final right of refusal on what gets aired.

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                    • #11
                      I got my info from TV Guide, when it was covering the first season of COPS (the Broward County FL episodes). I have also heard it mentioned at my department as to why COPS producers are repeatedly being turned down by us.

                      Since you have a buddy working at COPS, you may want to ask him if he knows about (or was present for) a filming with King County WA (Seattle). I had read somewhere about a never-aired episode where King County Police were serving a high-risk warrant, and had a COPS crew with them only to...kick the wrong door I guess the footage of the traumatized family being proned out by a SWAT team would have been totally bad PR for the department, and the Sheriff (unknown of it was Dave Reichert then or not) supposedly got into a conflict with COPS producers, who wanted to air it. In the end the episode was never aired.

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