By W. Thomas Smith Jr.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – A&E’s new hit television series, LIVE PD, is fast-becoming one of the most popular programs nationwide. Why? Because it’s real-time dash-cam and other-video action coupled with the ordinary, remotely bringing everything from routine patrols and high-speed chases to domestic disputes and drug raids into viewers’ living rooms, two nights a week.
Unlike COPS – the ever-popular prerecorded television series following law-enforcement officers during various police operations – LIVE PD is just that: It’s LIVE. And that dynamic has quickly enabled LIVE PD to become one of the top-watched programs, averaging a million-plus viewers, nationwide, each Fri. and Sat. evening at 9:00 p.m. (Eastern). What makes LIVE PD particularly fascinating for central S.C. fans is that one of the six featured law-enforcement agencies every week is Columbia’s own Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. (RCSD).
“We were selected by A&E because of the great bridge-building work we’ve done within our respective communities and the reputation we have overall among not only the citizens we serve, but other law enforcement agencies across the nation,” says Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. “This program is also enhancing the trust-factor that is so important to us, as viewers are able to experience what we do and how we do it, unfiltered and in real-time.”
LT Curtis Wilson, RCSD public information officer, agrees.
“All the programs and services we offer as well as our work day-in-and-day-out shows just how much respect the community has for this department,” says Wilson. “That combined with many of the high-profile cases we’ve worked on, how we’ve handled those cases and being featured on so many other programs, caught the attention of LIVE PD. We were and are a natural fit.”
Wilson adds, “Fri. and Sat. nights they are live with us, but they are also with us, riding and recording six days a week.”
LIVE PD was launched Oct. 28, 2016, and RCSD has been with the series since the beginning. “The series started out with two-hour episodes,” says Wilson. “It’s now three hours, and it’s now the number-one program on A&E.”
We’ll have more on LIVE PD. In the meantime, please visit http://www.aetv.com/shows/live-pd/about for more information about LIVE PD.
[EDITORIAL NOTE: This Sat. evening, RCSD will host a free LIVE PD Community Pizza Party at the Decker Center, 2500 Decker Blvd. in Columbia. The public is invited, and everyone will have an opportunity to meet the cast – RCSD deputies all – of LIVE PD. That’s not all! Free RCSD LIVE PD t-shirts will be available to the first 120 Pizza Party guests. The party begins at 6:00 p.m. and end at 8:00 p.m., so attendees may return home in time to watch LIVE PD at 9:00 p.m.]
For more information about the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept., visit http://www.rcsd.net/.