TOO SENSATIONAL FOR LOCAL OFFICIALS!
City officials in Austin have decided not to allow the reality television show “Cops” to film Austin police for its long-running chronicle of officers on daily patrol duty.
The decision upset some Austin Police Department officers, who viewed an appearance on the Fox series as a chance to showcase their work. But city officials said the show only depicts a small, sensational part of officers’ jobs.
The show’s film crews had been set to arrive in Austin this month. Pam Golum, a spokeswoman for the show, said, “Hopefully at some point, we can work together.”
Michael McDonald, assistant city manager, said viewers would be unlikely to get to witness important parts of officers’ jobs, such as community policing or talking with residents in neighborhoods they patrol.
“We do an excellent job out there, and there is nothing to hide about how our officers are effecting arrests,” he said.
Officer Joe Munoz, a vice president of the Austin Police Association, said officers would have been proud to showcase their work.
“It’s unfortunate we can’t do those types of things,” he said. “Austin is a flagship agency.”
The show has filmed numerous law enforcement agencies in Texas over the years.
Roger Wade, a spokesman for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, said agency officials didn’t see a downside of participating in “Cops” in 2005. The shows aired last year.
He said sheriff’s officials were allowed to review footage and help edit video.
“We are looking at doing more stuff with them,” he said.
While Austin has decided not to participate in the TV show, city officials have long said they welcome public scrutiny of police officers. Patrol cars are equipped with video equipment, and officers are required to film arrests.