Police portrayed on television shows
RICHLAND, Wash. - Police television dramas are some of the most popular shows on television but authorities said they give the public a false impression of what really happens when police encounter suspects.
Popular scenes that stricks a nerve with some police is when police actors have a stand off with a suspect.
Richland Police Captain Mike Cobb said it is completely unrealistic for an officer to put their gun down and talk calmly to a person who is threatening violence.
He said, "The public and impressionable young people learning from that and thinking it's real instead of drama and entertainment sometimes makes me frustrated."
Rutgers University Professor Steven Miller said, "As long as the entertainment companies are trying to sell you a product and make it exciting, they are going to change the nature of the beast."
Cobb said, "The problem with this is a lot of times the entertainment shows have a lot to do with training people who are on juries, members of the public and tainting their perception to make them think we can do things that we really can't do."
Cobb said the number of police that show up to a crime on television shows is outrageous. He said, "We don't have teams of people coming like the ones portrayed on TV. They are showing us resources that just don't exist in our state and we really don't get DNA back in 10 minutes it just doesn't work that way."
Miller said, "It's important to understand the difference between entertainment and reality and as time goes on that line is becoming more skewed."
Cobb said, "Yelling at the TV doesn't influence what the writers have already written."
Cobb said the public has distorted expectations of officers because of what they have seen on entertainment shows.