With ‘Live PD,’ A&E Seeks to Display Nuances of Police Work

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Do not tune into A&E’s new police reality show Live PD expecting a rebooted Cops for the 21st century, says Esquire. Billed as the first program to show law enforcement as it happens in real time, Live PD combines live footage of policing around the nation and in-studio segments, where host Dan Abrams and two Dallas police detectives offer commentary. By showing police work in the most unfiltered way possible, the show aims both to boost police accountability and to combat police vilification. “This is just a fundamentally different show than Cops,” Abrams says. “Cops was about the wacky, crazy moments of people interacting with the police, where this is really about showing the nuances – showing police officers driving to the scene, and what they’re thinking in those moments.”

Abrams emphasizes that the live footage will show both sides of the national argument about police conduct. Though there is a slight delay on the live footage—not for editorializing but for legal issues around jeopardizing ongoing investigations—is as unfiltered as possible. The show’s producers have likened it to NFL Red Zone, moving in and out of locations to chronicle police patrols in six different American cities simultaneously: among them a local PD in Bridgeport, Connecticut; a gang unit in Tulsa, Oklahoma; a county sheriff’s department in Walton County, Florida. The program airs on A&E Friday nights from 9-11 p.m. ET.

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