Look out bad guys of San Jose, COPS is coming to town
Mercury News – Cue the music, because they’re coming for you, San Jose.
The pioneering police reality television show “Cops” will be riding along with boys in blue of the San Jose Police Department starting Tuesday night, kicking off a 10-week filming stretch. It marks the first time in 26 years of the show’s odes to law enforcement that the country’s 10th largest city will be featured.
“It lets the community see what we do,” police spokeswoman Sgt. Heather Randol said. “It provides greater transparency and there’s always the positive impact it could have for recruitment.”
That last point can’t be emphasized enough. SJPD has seen its ranks shrink by nearly a third since 2008, when it boasted more than 1,400 officers. That number is just over a thousand now, with around 900 actually suiting up for full duty, amid a years-long exodus of officers fleeing from a political climate stemming from austerity measures and a bitter pension-reform fight.
Having officers lionized in the trademark “Cops” way could lift a lot of spirits, which is one reason the department, after weighing the pros and cons, agreed to the show’s offer to film.
“When it’s all said and done, it will be a boost for morale,” Randol said. “There are officers who are excited and quickly volunteered.”
Two camera crews will shadow patrol units and other specialized units to be decided in the near future. They’ll cover primarily swing shifts and midnight shifts, a backdrop the show typically employs to amplify the danger of daily police work.
Randol said she doesn’t expect officers to freeze up — or ham it up — with the cameras rolling.
“We want them to be natural and do their job as they normally do it. We know over time it will loosen up,” she said. “It’ll give an honest look at what we do every day.”
Get ready for theatrics, basic cable viewers in San Jose, you are in for a treat. Not only are you gonna be able to see the beautiful sights and sounds of downtown/east San Jose, you’ll see some officers who are absolutely going on performance duty for the cameras. I would not want to be a guy who just robbed a liquor store let alone someone who is driving around with a broken tail light.
Inevitably what will happen is two white (maybe Asian?) officers will get a call to a house somewhat near downtown for a domestic dispute. Elderly folks will come out and yell at the cops in Spanish, husband will claim everything is kosher and in the midst of the chaos, a relative (probably who has no priors, just no green card) will try and run out the back door and a foot chase/beat down and or eventual shoot out will occur. Textbook San Jose Cops Episode.