In 1989, one of the longest-running primetime TV shows made its debut in Broward County, Fla., displaying the everyday dealings of America’s police officers.
Now more than 22 years since its debut, the iconic show COPS, with its unmistakable “Bad Boys” theme song by Inner Circle, is coming here to Beaumont.
“I talked to some chiefs who’ve worked with the COPS program before, and they said they’re very low key and definitely pro-police,” said BPD Police Chief Jimmy Singletary. “One of the deal breakers for us is we have final editing rights.”
Singletary went on to say the show will help bring officers and the community closer together.
“It’s good for Beaumont and it’s good for BPD,” he said. “It will help with morale, recruiting and public relations. I’m really confident that our officers will not only do a good job, but I think they’ll enjoy this.”
If BPD has a negative perception within the community, Singletary said the show will help to alleviate distrust within the community and give residents a chance to get to know their officers, who — at the end of the day — are everyday, hard-working men and women with families and lives of their own.
“That’s one of the things we’re trying to do ... all the programs that we’ve got going on,” he said. “The community is our top priority. I think this will help because they (COPS) try and humanize us a little bit.”
Zach Ragsdale, producer of COPS, said after he went on a recent ride-along with a BPD officer, the choice was easy.
“It just seems like a very professional police agency,” he said. “The guys seemed excited, so we look forward to profiling their department.”
The dangers inherent in police work are just as prevalent for camera crews riding with police, but after working out all the details — including a liability agreement should crews or police come under fire — Ragsdale said filming should begin as soon as this week and the episode could air sometime in September.
The agreement between BPD and the show COPS can be found on the City Council’s website, as they approved of the filming at their weekly meeting Tuesday, April 30.
Ragsdale said some departments are less media-friendly than others, but Beaumont isn’t one of them, as evidenced by Singletary’s excitement to showcase some of Beaumont’s finest. “We’ve got some great police officers and I’m proud of the job they’ve been doing so far,” he said.