Council president wants restrictions on reality-based police shows

Council president wants restrictions on reality-based police shows

Spokane’s city council president wants restrictions on reality-based police shows in Spokane, saying the shows over-represent violent crime and over-represent minorities as perpetrators of those crimes.

Council President Ben Stuckart will introduce an ordinance Monday at a meeting of the city’s public safety committee.

Stuckart says the goal of the ordinance is to “set firm requirements and regulations for national television programs embedding in the Spokane Police Department for the purpose of documenting and broadcasting citizen interactions.”

The ordinance would require companies filming the shows to register as a business within the city. It would also give the city the opportunity to review footage and prevent its broadcast.

The ordinance also requires all entities engaging in the production, filming or distribution of the programs to obtain $1,000,000 in insurance coverage.

The City of Spokane has long worked with shows like Cops to portray the criminal justice system in Spokane. Spokane County has also worked with the show Live PD in recent months, which embeds film crews with sheriff’s deputies.

Other cities around the country have ended their relationship with those shows for the very reasons Stuckart cites in his proposal.