Fear of “COPS”

Perception is a powerful thing. As individuals we make decisions based on how we perceive the world around us.

Unfortunately, we often don’t perceive the entire picture.

The kerfuffle over COPS the TV show is a perfect example. The simple fact is that COPS has been in Bernalillo County since Mayor Chavez’ eviction of the show. Sheriff White invited the production back to Bernalillo County in 2005 (KOAT TV – read it here).

Back then public officials were having the same conversation over the same fears. Subsequently, the show came and went without even being noticed.

Do we want to glamorize the less desirable elements of our community? No. But if you’ve ever watched COPS, you generally see that the good guys usually win.

What’s truly ironic is that some of these same leaders embraced a meth-dealing high school teacher for almost four years. Sure the show was fictional, but if you’re worried about perception Breaking Bad didn’t exactly make Albuquerque look like “the happiest place on earth.”

I haven’t watched COPS in years… and I can’t even say that I have seen a whole episode.But I’ve ridden with officers and I’ve seen some of they things and people they have to deal with everyday. Most of the time they do a fantastic job even when faced with life-threatening situations.

When the COPS crew gets to Bernalillo County, I’m confident that what you’ll see is training and professionalism of our deputies as they deal with the folks that you and I don’t want to have to deal with.

Bottom line… When COPS was kicked out of Albuquerque did it make crime rates go down? Was the public any safer?

Photographers can only shoot what happens in our community. If the footage reveals an out of control criminal element, perhaps we should be working to address the problem and not shoot the messenger.

As elected officials, we should have the courage to deal with problems as they are revealed to us – no matter who or how those problems are brought to light.

I for one prefer to address them rather than wrap myself in a cloak of denial.