Few good things have happened in 2020. Cops getting canceled was one of them.
And yet, less than four months after the Paramount Network ended the controversial reality series, Cops crew members are back in squad cars. On Wednesday, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office in Washington stated two Cops film crews had been riding along with department deputies throughout the month of September and would continue to do so through the first week of November.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the episodes being filmed will not be broadcast in the United States, and are being created exclusively to fulfill contracts between Cops and international territories where the show still airs.
“We have a longstanding relationship with Cops and Langley productions [the studio behind Cops], and we are pleased they have decided to return, highlighting the outstanding work our deputies provide to all of you,” the Sheriff’s Office statement reads.
“Cops film crews have ridden with Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Valley deputies for many years. During that time, they have documented segments of the great work our deputies continually provide. This allows the viewer a glimpse of what takes place during a deputy’s shift and how unpredictable any situation can be.”
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, quoted in the press statement, also defended the genre of policing shows writ large: “Shows like Cops highlight the work of law enforcement. They show, even for a few minutes, what the men and women out protecting our communities deal with day in and day out. People need to see how quickly things can turn, the decisions that need to be made quickly, and how well deputies and officers adjust and respond appropriately.”
Knezovich went on, saying such programs “show the hard work and professionalism of law enforcement, despite what some anti-law enforcement activists and those in the media want you to believe.” Knezovich has publicly supported President Donald Trump since he first ran for office in 2016. In 2017, Knezovich was criticized for publicly claiming law enforcement officials were being “hunted and assassinated” as a result of inaction by former President Barack Obama.
Representatives for Langley Productions and Color of Change — an activist organization credited with helping secure the cancellations of both Cops and Live P.D. in June — did not immediately respond to Mashable’s request for comment.