Spokane to be featured in TV Show COPS’ return, hopes to increase recruitment

Jun 24, 2024, 7:27 AM

COPS Spokane...

A Spokane County Sheriff's Office vehicle. (Photo courtesy of Spokane County Sheriff's Department)

(Photo courtesy of Spokane County Sheriff's Department)

The TV show “COPS” is coming back to Washington to feature a local city — Spokane.

Filming will take place over the summer, following Spokane County Sheriff’s Office deputies stationed both in Spokane Valley and unincorporated areas of the county. Filming starts July 12 for deputies in Spokane Valley, lasting eight weeks. Crews will then follow deputies in unincorporated areas of the county for roughly four weeks, starting Aug. 14.

More on law enforcement: King County deputy found not guilty of assault after allegedly punching handcuffed suspect

Despite concerns Spokane County will be shown in a negative light in the television program, the union will help with staffing and long-term recruitment to the sheriff’s office. Participating in the filming will help the department fill approximately 35 vacant positions at the agency, according to figures provided by Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Gregory obtained by The Spokesman-Review.

The Spokane County Commissioners unanimously approved the agreement last Tuesday.

Spokane has been no stranger to “COPS.” The department previously was featured on the show intermittently over a span of 20 years. Spokane County was most recently featured in the fall of 2020, a few months after it was canceled in the U.S. (“COPS” still remained in production shortly after to fulfill contracts overseas that had not yet expired).

Before the show’s cancellation, Pierce County was another Washington-based county prominently featured, as Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer claimed it was great for morale and recruitment.

‘COPS’ in Pierce County: ‘Cops’ return to film Pierce County deputies in action

“We got people sending us emails from all over the country about how professional our guys are,” Troyer said regarding Pierce County’s involvement with “COPS.” “We got guys that saw us on ‘COPS’ applied, and now work for us.”

COPS canceled in 2020

“COPS” premiered on the FOX network in 1989 as a transparent look into the life of law enforcement. Camera crews would capture and document police officers answering calls, going out on patrol and making arrests. FOX canceled the show in 2013 after 25 seasons, with the program finding a new home at the Paramount Network.

But, after nationwide protests in the wake of Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police, Paramount dropped the show from its lineup in 2020. The show was canceled for how its “insensitive” depiction of law enforcement. Critics claimed it glamourized violent crimes, arrests and confrontations.

FOX Nation revived the series in 2021.

More on law enforcement: Auburn Officer Jeff Nelson’s fate now in hands of jury

“COPS is one of the most iconic brands on television with an incredibly passionate fan base,” Jason Klarman, president of Fox Nation, said in a statement obtained by NPR.

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here and you can email him here.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: A law enforcement vehicle's lights....

James Lynch

SPD: Armed good Samaritan saves pregnant woman from attacker

Seattle police said an armed good Samaritan came to the rescue of a woman during a domestic violence incident and shot her attacker.

2 hours ago

NAACP kamala harris...

Sam Campbell

‘It’s about time’: NAACP leader in WA applauds possibility of Harris as presidential nominee

NAACP members reportedly scrambled to regroup following President Joe Biden’s sudden withdrawal from the race on Sunday.

6 hours ago

hit-and-run lake city...

Frank Sumrall, MyNorthwest; James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio

Hit-and-run in Seattle’s Lake City kills one early Monday morning

A man was killed in a hit-and-run in Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood at Northeast 125th Street and 30th Avenue Northeast Monday morning.

11 hours ago

kent kidnapping...

Frank Sumrall

Kent Police: Second attempted kidnapping in less than a week

A 911 caller contacted Kent Police July 19 after an unknown adult male reached inside a window of the caller's home and grabbed their young daughter.

12 hours ago

Photo: Detectives are investigating a Seattle drive-by shooting that happened early Saturday mornin...

Julia Dallas

Seattle police: Woman shot in both hands in early morning drive-by shooting

Detectives are investigating a Seattle drive-by shooting that happened early Saturday morning. A woman was shot in her hands.

1 day ago

Photo: President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the 75th anniversary of NATO at the Andrew W. Mellon...

MyNorthwest and KIRO Newsradio staff

‘Bring it on:’ Washington officials react to Biden dropping out of the race

Washington officials have reacted to President Joe Biden dropping out of the 2024 presidential election.

1 day ago

Spokane to be featured in TV Show COPS’ return, hopes to increase recruitment