This week the Badge Guys will be celebrating your favorite police shows. We will look at some top rated police shows that influence perceptions, both good and bad of the policing profession. Police shows run the gamut from the friendly, neighborly Andy Griffith show to edgy shows like The Shield and into real life documentaries like 48 Hours. Interestingly enough, top ratings by TV audiences do not necessarily mean top ratings with those in the policing profession in much the same way war movies are viewed by military service members.
Favorite Police Shows-The Real Thing?
How does watching police shows affect expectations of the public in forensics, police procedure and how crimes are solved? Some shows are clearly dramatic entertainment that most recognize as such, but others present a more serious flavor with an expectation of “this is the real thing” that can distort the public understanding of the profession of policing.
The show CSI is a great example of a popular show affecting public perception of police work, centered on the forensics team involved in analyzing evidence to solve a crime. More than one prosecutor and defense attorney has grumbled about the “CSI effect” when presenting cases to juries. In the real world, many cases simply do not revolve around forensic evidence and even when there is DNA or other forensic evidence, it does not always clearly point to “who done it”, in spite of jurors expectations.
Other shows emphasize car chases, guns blazing and body slamming unresisting perps during an arrest or to coerce a confession during interrogations. It makes for exciting drama, but gives real headaches to police agencies and administrators dealing with lawsuits and even criminal charges against officers that engage in such reckless conduct.
Inspiration and Ideals from Police Shows
That being said, the positive aspect of shows like CSI is that it piqued the curiosity of the public and even inspired some to seek out education and a career in the forensic sciences. Our very own Badge Guy, Chief Scott Silverii, was influenced in his career in policing by the police show SWAT. Long before contemplating a career in policing, Badge Guy Juli Adcock grew up with shows like Adam 12, Dragnet and others that emphasized duty, courage and integrity. She will discuss a current show, Blue Bloods, as a continuation of that theme.
As we progress through the week, we at The Badge Guys would love to have you join in the discussion of favorite police shows to find out what makes a given show so successful-or not!
Tell us whether you think your favorite police show is realistic, purely entertainment or presents ideals you admire. The inquiring minds at The Badge Guys want to know whether your favorite police shows influence your perceptions of police, crime fighting and career choices.
Which police shows do you think most accurately portray policing? Which ones totally miss the mark? Do you like police shows that promote a positive view of policing?
Recapping this week:
On Tuesday, Juli Adcock will discuss the current TV show Blue Bloods and its theme of inspiring ideas and heritage of policing.
On Friday, we’ll close out the week celebrating your favorite police shows, inspiring, entertaining and even educating us on the complex world of policing. The Badge Guys want to learn about your favorites, inquiring minds really do want to know!