Risk versus reward- reality TV
Written by Mark Nichols
Despite the repeated horror stories involving public safety agencies signing on with reality television shows like "COPS," and "First 48," such arrangements continue to garner exactly the opposite type of headlines that were hoped for when the deal was made. In the latest dust-up, a reality television series that profiles female deputies is in hot water after Pompano Beach city leaders learned that a recent arrest within city limits was filmed by the production crew taping the TV show. "The Real Policewomen of Broward County" is aired nationally on the cable television network TLC.
Pompano Beach was in much of the first season but some residents complained about the cameras and the impact that they have on some police officers. "The BSO deputies get overly dramatic when they arrest people. To me, that's a problem," resident Vicente Thrower said at a recent commission meeting.
Then, just days after Thrower launched the complaint in front of commissioners, BSO deputies arrested Thrower during a prostitution sting at a Pompano Beach motel. The city's issue is that the film crew was denied a permit to shoot a second season of the series in Pompano Beach.
"There were verbal conversations as well as written commitments for it not to occur," Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher told Local10.com News. "We're so proud of so many things to offer in our city. But they were just showing some of the seediest areas in our community and we had enough," he added.
This is just the latest in a series of incidents involving the show and local cops. Last February, a man was hit by a car when a driver became distracted by the lights and cameras filming an arrest on the side of the road. More recently, a producer was fired over claims that offenders were offered cash in exchange for consent to use their face on TV.
Offenders claimed they were offered as much as $500. This season, the show can be found shooting in Deerfield Beach, Pembroke Park and unincorporated parts of Broward County. The Broward Sheriff's Office has released the following statement:
"The show is about women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line for the residents and visitors of Broward County. The Sheriff's Office works with the production company to ensure that any reference to city names and landmarks are obscured or eliminated during the editing process."