I have been a fan of the television show "COPS" since it's first season over twenty years ago. Back then it was on a UHF station out of Pittsburgh, but was destined to be on the soon to appear FOX Network. Not only has COPS had a prime 9PM Saturday night time slot on FOX for decades, it is also now run and rerun on the Spike channel, often one episode after another all day long on certain days. A product of the then fledgling Langley Productions, it has remained their banner series for a very long time and continues to earn good ratings.
This is true "reality TV" in that it is filmed on location "with the men and women of law enforcement." Yes, there ARE chases, both car and foot, tough arrests with violence perpetrators, shoot outs, and K9 action. But it's mostly day to day police work with domestic disputes, small time drug dealers and users, hold up men, burglars, and street criminals. Sometimes there are horrible car accidents, other times they search for missing children, the subjects run the gamut of police work.
The show follows State Police, County Sheriffs, City Police, and Natural Resources Officers from areas all over this country. Everything is filmed "live," these are no re-enactments. The camera and sound people are often in the line of fire and run as hard as the cops themselves during chases. On a few rare occasions, they have been pressed into service to help out with an arrest.
It doesn't take you long to begin to have a respect for what the police do. Nor does it take you long to understand that the long time officers have seen and heard it all before. There's no use giving them a sob story or some fairy tale because you won't be the first to try it! Just as a watcher of the program, I wouldn't buy most of the crap suspects try to tell the arresting officers either.
With all the focus on police shootings of people today, I'm afraid that I would have FAR less restraint faced with this crap, over and over, day after day. All too often the police are exposed to the ugly underbelly of humanity and face far too many armed perpetrators and self destructive morons.
After watching the program for years, you begin to understand why police are often called racist. It's because so many of the perpetrators are Black. I would guess that 3/4 of all the criminals arrested on an average episode of COPS are Black, and that most of those have previous criminal records. Real FBI statistics bear this out in that they report that over 70% of the national prison population is Black.
In one episode, two Black officers are in a night time foot chase after a young Black male who was wearing shoes with the heels lighting up every time he took a step. Fast as this boy was, his shoes gave him away, and he was eventually boxed in and tried to hide under a parked car. When the two Black officers dragged him out and cuffed him, the punk kept yelling "You only arresting me 'cause I'm Black!" One of the officers leaned in and shouted in his ear "We're only arresting you because you did the crime!"
Of course, not all perpetrators are Black, consistently, the most violent perpetrators are Hispanic. A large number of these are also illegal aliens involved in drug running and selling. They are not often intimidated by police, and more than willing to slash out with a knife or shoot it out with a gun. FBI statistics show Hispanics as the fastest growing prison population, something obvious if you have been watching COPS as long as I have.
Hispanics are Caucasian of course, and plain old "white folks" appear regularly on COPS as well. Generally these are deadbeats, street people, druggies, alcoholics, wife beaters (and husband beaters increasingly) and a pretty good number of ugly hookers. They are arrested just as quickly as anyone else.
This brings us to another thing you will notice on COPS; that perpetrators are generally not too bright, and very often drugs are involved. Just as I'm sure upstanding Blacks and Hispanics are embarrassed when folks of their groups are arrested, it's the same for me. It's embarrassing to see so many stupid "white folks" doing such moronic crimes! There's not a Lex Luthor in the bunch! (For you young'uns, Lex was the master criminal and ultimate foe of Superman.)
As I said before, almost every low forehead type tries to lie to the police. One of the favorites is "I don't know what's going on" or "I didn't see all the flashing lights," which is even spouted after long car chases! Nobody ever owns the drugs found on them or in their car, and tells the police "I didn't know that was in my pants," or "I don't know who it belongs too." In one episode they caught a bank robber because he had accidently set off a dye pack in the money bag. His explanation; "I had a couple of ball point pens that leaked." Yeah, right.
Another thing done by police departments on COPS is the "sting" operation. This is usually set up to nail drug dealers or hookers. The druggies provide pretty entertaining car or foot chases sometimes, while the hookers caught will often put you off women for days. Somehow, those bright TV lights seem to cut right through all the make up, and women can talk real nasty when caught by the police. Dispels that old "sugar and spice and everything nice" crap we used to hear!
From the early days of watching COPS, one could see the growth of crime evolving due to the need of the perpetrators to feed their drug habits. I watched big city hold ups and burglaries slowly come to my semi rural region as drug use grew.
Now to be fair, Moonshining (illegal alcohol) was a long held tradition around here. There used to be a LOT of drunkenness in the region. But within the last two decades, the Moonshiners have been pretty much put out of business and the woods they used to control are now the home of drug growers. It got so bad that for a few months ten years ago, the former illegal alcohol guys were helping the cops hunt down drug farmers.
At the time, a favored way to grow marijuana was to plant it in plastic five gallon buckets and place it along the edges of clearings in the woods. They could be moved if needed and were hard to find. But the former Moonshiners found them. They even caught one guy who had bought a farm and planted a Marijuana plant between each corn plant on a 50 acre lot!
More surprising was when a local doctor was caught financing growers who rented houses and used "grow lights" to raise "weed" in the basements. What we had seen on COPS for years had come to our area. These days "Meth" labs are the hot ticket for local druggies, a drug I first learned about by watching COPS many years ago.
COPS is a VERY educational program, and I think it should be required viewing for every American. Your entire outlook as to who is protecting we common citizens and who is perpetrating the crimes is eye opening. You learn a respect for those who are police, and a distain for those who are the criminals. You tire of seeing the same people do the same crimes over and over that you wonder why there are any overly liberal judges left. And if citizens watching this crap again and again on TV are fed up with it, what do you think the real cops feel? who see it every day of their lives?
You have to have great respect for people who can do such a job and do it with great restraint when so many times their lives are on the line while dealing with stupid and/or violent people.
Watching one season of COPS will dispel all the ultra-Liberal bullshit being spewed by the current Administration and some media outlets. There is no Political Correctness on COPS, just real crime fighting with real police and real criminals.
Every episode begins with a disclaimer that "Viewer discretion is advised." Yet I recommend COPS to older children and all adults to get a real look at how our world is. It is one of the first, and today one of the rare truly real "reality TV" programs.