SPOKANE, Wash. - Live PD is a hit reality TV show that follows law enforcement agencies, including the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, around the country in real time. The show has gained quite the fan base but now, Spokane's City Council President Ben Stuckart wants it out of the city.
"That's why I want to pass these restrictions, so that Live PD, when they're out in the county, and they cross into city lines, they have to do these things," said Stuckart. "And so I'm hoping what they say is OK, we'll just stay out in the county.”
Stuckart says he wants an ordinance that would regulate reality TV shows, making them sign waivers and give the City a chance to approve the footage before it airs.
A lot of TV fans are saying not so fast to this possible ordinance. One of those against the regulation is Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.
“This is tantamount to almost censorship,” said Sheriff Knezovich.
Both agree on one thing: when it comes to Live PD, the show has given a glimpse into a day in the life of law enforcement. Where they differ is how that makes Spokane look.
“These shows overrepresented minorities as perpetrators of crime, they over-represent instances of violent crimes that happen with police and they over-represent the number of crimes that end up getting resolved,” explained Stuckart.
These words came as a surprise to the Sheriff who says he hadn't heard a negative review of the show before Monday.
“That's ridiculous. It shows what is going on, it shows what happens on the street, but you tell me any city in the US that is not seeing these types of issues,” said Sheriff Knezovich.
In a world where it's become increasingly scary for officers who wear the badge, the show is an eye-opener.
Sheriff Knezovich added, “this is really dispelling a lot of myths about how we treat people, the way we conduct business. It is showing that we do have great compassion for people that we deal with.”
Tuesday, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office asked the public to weigh in on their Facebook page. The response was overwhelming. Over 700 people commented, many agreeing that they do not want to see shows regulated.
"It does not make the city look worse than what it is," commented Rhonda Hendrickson Ackerman. "What it does do is provide reality to the public of what takes place where they live."
Stuckart says he wants to protect the people being filmed. The Sheriff argues that there's never been a problem with consent. He thinks maybe the City should be focusing on getting help for who have on-camera run-ins with the police.
“Let's look at the root of the problem than worry about Live PD and censor the reality of what's going on,” added Sheriff Knezovich.
The Sheriff says Live PD has been great for recruitment and that they've gotten about twenty calls from people around the country who are looking to move to Spokane and try and become deputies as it looks like a great agency to work for.
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