News | Notes


TV show ‘Cops' to ride with Pierce County deputies
Stacey Mulick|Staff writer 6/23/10

Sheriff’s deputies won’t be the only ones chasing Pierce County’s bad boys over the next several weeks. Crews from the Fox television show “Cops” will ride along looking for footage of the good guys in action. Two camera crews will begin accompanying deputies on calls this week, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said Tuesday. They will be recording pursuits, arrests and other interesting activity for the upcoming season of the reality-based television show, which will kick off this fall on a date not yet set. The “Cops” crews primarily will be paired with deputies who work swing and graveyard shifts in the greater South Hill area. “That’s where most of the activity is,” Troyer said. This is not the first time Pierce County sheriff’s deputies have been the focus of the show, which features everyday crime scenes with running commentary from on-duty officers. They also were featured in 1992, 1996 and 2000. Members of other area law enforcement agencies also have been on the show, including King County sheriff’s deputies and Lakewood police. The Tacoma Police Department has never participated. “We’ve had good success with them,” Troyer said. “It shows our citizens what we do both on a local and national level.” The department does not receive any money for being in the show. The deputies participate on a volunteer basis, and the camera crews ride with them on their regular patrol shift, Troyer said. The department does review an episode before its aired. “It’s very, very rare that we’ve made a change,” Troyer said. Suspects and other people filmed during police encounters have to sign a release to have their faces shown on television. Otherwise, the faces are blurred. 

In April, Fox renewed “Cops” for a 23rd season. It airs Saturdays at 8 and 8:30 p.m.


Deputy Rick Lee (episode #2003) died on October 26th, 2008 after complications resulting from a motorcycle crash on his way to Biketoberfest. Adam Popp is organizing the first annual memorial fishing bash in his honor on December 6, 2008, hosted by Sunrise Marina at Port Canaveral. This is a benefit event for his family to assist with the expenses that came with an untimely death for a great friend. 


At The Fifth Annual TV DVD Awards on 10/14/08 Cops: 20th Anniversary Edition won Best Reality Show for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.


Cops camera crews are looking for them bad boys
by Stacey Mulick | News Tribune 
    Once again, camera crews from the television show Cops are riding around with Pierce County sheriff's deputies. The ride-alongs begin tonight, sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said. Camera crews will be riding with deputies patrolling South Hill and East Pierce County. The crews will be in tow for the next four to six weeks. They'll be filming police incidents for the upcoming season of Cops . Troyer said the Pierce County episodes will be featured along with incidents from other law enforcement agencies throughout the country. "You will see us," he said. "There is never a shortage of material when they come here."

There are a few green patrol cars left but most are now white. Also all deputies went to dark blue uniforms. The Lakewood Police Department became their own department in late 2004. They are not contracted by the Pierce county sheriffs department anymore and the chief said Cops could not film with them anymore because "it made the city look bad". Louie 


Las  Vegas - When the 21st season of the reality show Cops premieres this fall, all 36 episodes will be shot using Sony’s XDCAM HD Professional Disc System. Cops post production supervisor Mitsuo Goto said he recommended the XDCAM system to Langley Productions, the creator and producer of Cops as an efficient, cost-effective way to transition from its current tape-based infrastructure to an all file-based work flow – saving money and time throughout the production process. Langley Productions purchased 13 XDCAM HD units for the Cops production team. “The camera has tremendous depth of field and produces phenomenal images in low-light situations, which is the most common shooting scenario for this series,” Goto said. “This is critical since the crew is frequently running after bad guys. We needed a camera that could absorb a lot of shock, and this one was definitely up to the job.”


Ex-detective gets 3 years for sexual battery. Judge wanted longer sentence, but case was hard to prosecute
By Paul Pinkham, The Times-Union
His disgrace complete, former Jacksonville narcotics detective Shawn Mario Pringle (episode #1302) was sentenced to prison Friday, four years after three women accused him of using his badge to force sex. Pringle, 38, received three years, the maximum under his plea agreement with prosecutors. Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper indicated she wanted to go higher, but she noted the legal difficulties prosecutors had with the case. Pringle had faced two counts of sexual battery and one count each of attempted sexual battery, misuse of a public office and petit theft. He pleaded guilty in December to one count of sexual battery and misusing his office by forcing a drug informant to have sex with him by threatening her with prison time and the loss of her children. Two other women told detectives Pringle used his police blue lights to pull them over and assault them in 2000 and 2002, and prosecutors identified four additional victims in court. "You were a person in power with a gun, and because of that, this is so much more egregious," Cooper told Pringle. "There is no way to quantify the damage to the Sheriff's Office by this behavior and ... to the victim." Cooper added three years of sex offender probation to the prison time, meaning Pringle must register as a sex offender and undergo psychosexual counseling and monitoring. None of the victims were in court. Pringle read a brief statement to Cooper, accepting responsibility for his actions. He has been free on $250,000 bail and living under house arrest since 2004.


On Sunday, February 24, John Langley presented a $10,000 check from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (TCFHE) toward the capital campaign for the National Law Enforcement Museum, an architecturally inspiring, world-class museum scheduled to open in Washington, DC, in 2011. The donation was accepted by Museum representative John Shanks immediately prior to the Auto Club 500 NASCAR race at the California Speedway in Fontana, CA. To commemorate the release of the COPS 20th Anniversary Edition DVD, Fox Home Entertainment asked Mr. Langley to select a charitable cause to which TCFHE could make a contribution. "John Langley has been an influential and passionate supporter of law enforcement for years," said Craig Floyd, chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which is leading the effort to build the National Law Enforcement Museum. "Not only has the 'COPS' program provided Americans with a first-hand look at the challenges and dangers that our men and women in blue face every day, but John has personally donated to our Museum project as well. We are very pleased that Fox Home Entertainment is honoring John's work on behalf of law enforcement with this generous donation," Mr. Floyd added. Authorized by Congress in the year 2000, the planned National Law Enforcement Museum is a 95,000 square foot, mostly underground museum to be located just blocks from the U.S. Capitol and adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. When it opens in 2011, the Museum will provide an estimated 600,000 visitors a year with a unique and comprehensive look at the law enforcement profession. The Museum will feature high-tech, interactive exhibitions, interesting historical and contemporary artifacts, and extensive educational programming. Groundbreaking is scheduled for later in 2008. The privately funded Museum has launched an $80 million capital campaign, with approximately $33 million raised to date. For more information about the National Law Enforcement Museum, including a virtual tour, visit


Chuck Montgomery, A.C.E. & Michael Glickman for winning the inaugural ACE Eddie Award for Best Edited Reality Series for Cops episode “Country Love”. (No indication what episode number though) They were both nominated 1/11/08.


Canto, a K-9 Deputy from Martin County Sheriff's Office, who appeared in episode #2029, died 2/9/08. He was a dedicated K-9 Deputy for 10 years. He had hundreds of captures and many, many bites as the suspect in the segment can attest to. Kanto was a 11 year old male German Shepherd born in Germany and had been with his handler and friend Deputy Sheriff Eric Schaubel his entire life.


Albert Joseph Ponce, 38, of Las Vegas, who worked on Cops in 2007 passed away Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008. He was born Feb. 16, 1969, in Canada, and had lived in Las Vegas for the past eight years. He grew up in Austin, Texas, and graduated from Austin High School. He was a free-lance audio technician, a graduate of the University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in radio, television/film. Albert worked on many reality television productions in Las Vegas and around the country, including the coverage of the Coast Guard rescue missions in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. He was the kindest person and will be missed professionally and personally by many.


The Coastal Florida Police Benevolent Association is collecting donations to benefit Brevard County Sheriff’s Deputy Juan Vargas Jr. (episode #2012) who was injured Thursday after he accidentally shot himself as he tried to recover a short-barreled shotgun from the scene of a domestic dispute on Merritt Island. Vargas remains in critical but stable condition at the Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne. Sheriff’s office spokesman Andrew Walters said the shotgun accidentally malfunctioned when Vargas tried to retrieve it. The deputy’s family lives out of state but is now in Brevard. Donations can be made by cash or check at any Space Coast Credit Union payable to Coastal Florida PBA/Juan Vargas Jr. account.


Officer Sergio Carrera (episode #2005) of the Rialto, CA Police Department was shot and killed while serving a narcotics related warrant on October 18th. A 4 year veteran of Rialto PD, Sergio was a young father and is survived by his wife and two children. The crew was honored that we were afforded the opportunity to get to know Sergio and call him a friend. A memorial fund has been set up in his name. You can learn more by visiting this link.

In Sacramento K-9 Leo (episode #2015) had to be put down. He had been on the job for 5 years and is responsible for the apprehension of hundreds of violent felons during his career. Sgt. Dennis Joy and Leo were working their last scheduled shift together on November 16th before Leo's retirement when Leo began behaving strangely. Sgt. Joy took Leo to a vet where he was diagnosed with cancer. Tumors had burst in his spleen and invaded his blood stream. While Leo could have survived for a few months, he would have been in constant pain. With every member of the K9 Unit present, Leo was euthanized at 1:00am on November 17th. The Sacramento Police Canine Association, a non-profit organization which provides for the care of retired Sacramento Police K-9's, handled the funeral service and burial costs for Leo.


For the first time they are releasing a special DVD box set with behind the scenes content.


Cops Production crews had hoped to begin filming the Austin, TX officers in May, but city officials reconsidered, saying the show generally depicted only the more sensational aspects of a police officer's work, the American-Statesman reported Wednesday. Assistant City Manager Michael McDonald said he feared viewers might not see, for example, how officers do community policing or talk with neighborhood residents while on patrol.


This event was captured by the Cops and was in episode #2034.

    Spokane, WA - At 1:36 pm,  9/7/07 Spokane Police Officer Michael McNab spotted a stolen 2004 Dodge Ram pick-up parked on the street at Myrtle/Wellesley. The pick-up had been stolen this morning at 10:26 a.m. from 222 E. Lyons. The keys were in the truck when it was stolen. The owner was a short distance away unloading items from the truck for a food drive.  The suspect was outside the stolen truck. He hopped back in and fled, speeding away Northbound on Market. Several other Spokane Police officers joined the pursuit as it went at speeds of up to 70 MPH into the Northeast part of Spokane and then into Spokane County. The suspect drove into the North-South Freeway construction area in an attempt to lose the officers. He then drove up hills, through brush, and around trees and ended up in the area of Argonne/Stoneman.
    The suspect then fled South from there and ended up going South from Bigelow Gulch Road/Weile to the area of 5600 N Theirman where he went into the fields. There the suspect stalled his vehicle, at which time Officer McNab ran up to the stolen vehicle and tried to remove the suspect from the truck. Officer McNab was drug a short distance by the suspect while he was outside of the vehicle. McNab was not hurt. When Officer McNab went to return to his patrol car, he found it on fire underneath the driver’s side. He used his fire extinguisher in an attempt to put out the fire, but was not successful. Spokane Valley Fire Department responded, but the 2002 Ford Crown Victoria was totally engulfed by the time they got there. The car is a total loss.
    Spokane Police, Spokane Valley Police, and Spokane County Sheriff Deputies surrounded the area looking for the suspect and the stolen vehicle. At 2:53 p.m., a Citizen telephoned 911 stating he saw the suspect walking the bank of the Spokane River near Boulder Beach. Officers responded to that location and located Brian E. Gorder, 05-02-1978, a City of Spokane resident, hiding in brush and rocks. He was taken into custody without incident. Witnesses were transported to this location and positively identified Gorder as the suspect wanted by police. Gorder was booked into the Spokane County Jail for 1st Degree Theft, a felony, and Attempting to Elude a Police Officer, also a felony.
    This is a great example of citizens and police working together. Had it not been for the citizen calling 911, Mr. Gorder may have eluded police and the owner of the truck could have lost his vehicle altogether. Police also had citizens willing to look for the suspect in the area of Argonne/Bigelow Gulch Road. Their help is much appreciated.

Picture of Steve on left with other crew

Veteran sound mixer, Steven Douglas Malito (born 8/21/55), died August 5th, 2006, in Las Vegas while working on Cops there.
He had failed to show up for work at the sub station he and his local camera guy were working out of. The sound guy called one of the associate producers who then went to Steve's hotel room. It was locked from the inside and because of that, the hotel would not break in. The producer then called the police, who came and entered the room. Steve was in bed. He had died about 23 hours prior to the discovery and an autopsy disclosed cause of death was from a blocked artery.
    Steve had worked for the show about 15 years and was responsible for the sound of some of the greatest episodes the show had aired. He was a super great guy and we all loved him very much. He lived in Houston with his wife and children. A funeral will be held Wed and a fund is being set up for his family. All I can say is that it's a terrible loss of a friend and colleague. - Rob Whitehurst

Trouble in the most filmed area with one of the most filmed cops on the show.

Man Whose Arrest Was Filmed By 'Cops' Sues Officers For Brutality (This was in Resisting Arrest 4 #1718)
By KOMO Staff & News Services 

    Seattle - A man apparently woken from a drunken stupor by Pierce County sheriff's deputies, repeatedly zapped with a stun gun and finally chewed by a police dog - all in front of a production crew from the TV show "Cops" - has sued the county and the officers, alleging brutality. The deputies, accompanied by a K-9 officer from the Tacoma Police Department, were looking for an armed suspect in a car break-in when they came upon Aaron Otto Hansen, 34, of Roy, early on July 10, 2004.
    Hansen, who did not commit the crime, was passed out drunk in a sleeping bag outside a relative's home in the Tacoma suburb of Lakewood, one of his lawyers said. The "Cops" video footage of his arrest, obtained by The Associated Press, seems to support that claim: "Wake up! Show me your hands!" one officer, identified in the lawsuit as Deputy Joseph Kolp, screams at Hansen on the video. No response. "You're gonna get tased, dude," Kolp says.
    Kolp pulls on the sleeping bag. Hansen - clearly disoriented - tries to pull it back over his head, apparently to shield his eyes from Deputy Russell Martin's flashlight. Kolp grabs Hansen's arm and Martin moves in to help with an arrest. Hansen, still on the ground, starts to revive. He pushes Kolp, and the officers repeatedly use their Tasers as they kneel on him, pressing the instruments into his chest and his buttocks. "What the (expletive) are you doing?!" he moans as he struggles against them. "What the hell's going on?!"
    With Martin and Kolp holding him down, Hansen continued to swing his legs, and Kolp called for help from Tacoma police K-9 officer Christopher Karl. Karl's dog bit repeatedly at Hansen's leg, leaving his pants shredded and his ankle bloodied. The confrontation ended after two minutes, with Hansen in handcuffs moaning, "Please, please...what did I do wrong?"
    "When we tell you to show us your hands, that's what you need to do," Kolp tells him. "You want to fight us, this is what happens."
    "I'm not fighting nobody here," Hansen says, doubled over in pain.
    Later that night, the officers arrested another man, John Joyal, in the car break-in. Joyal wound up pleading guilty to a lesser crime. Hansen was never charged in the break-in, but he was charged with two counts of third-degree assault for resisting the officers. Those charges were dropped on Aug. 25, the day Hansen was to be tried - the same day his lawyer first viewed the videotape. His lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, names Pierce County, Kolp, Martin, Karl, the city of Lakewood and the city of Tacoma.
    At the time of the arrest, Kolp and Martin patrolled Lakewood for the sheriff's office. Since then, Lakewood has formed its own police department, which is where Kolp and Martin now work. The sheriff's office, the Lakewood Police Department and the Tacoma Police Department all declined to comment on the lawsuit Thursday.
    On the video, Kolp explains the officers' actions: "He was hiding in what looked like a sleeping bag, and he wouldn't comply with our commands," Kolp says. "I went through the fence, tried to pull the blanket back, and the fight was on. He resisted from the get-go ... ended up kicking us, the whole nine yards. The dog was sent in to help us out because we had two officers struggling to get this guy into custody and he wasn't complying, so we had to take it up a notch. ... It was a full-on battle there for a couple minutes."
    One of Hansen's lawyers, Philip Bolland, didn't buy that explanation. "The guy was asleep. They could have handcuffed him while he was asleep," Bolland said. "I can't think of any context where this treatment could be considered appropriate. Anybody who sits down and watches that tape would want an explanation."
    A producer at Santa Monica, Calif.-based Langley Productions Inc., which created "Cops," said he could not confirm whether the episode ever aired, but Lakewood Police Lt. Bret Farrar said he had seen it on television. He declined to comment on the arrest. The lawsuit seeks damages as well as an injunction prohibiting the police agencies from associating with "Cops" or similar TV programs again.


Bad news for an officer who appeared in the Boston episodes.

Cop charged with larceny in detail scam 
A Boston cop was charged with larceny yesterday for forging a construction manager's signature on bogus detail cards for a site in East Boston at which he never showed up, Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley said. The alleged scheme netted District A-7 Officer Michael Lopriore (episodes #415, 416, 418, 421), 35, of Everett a mere $1,102, Conley said. The nine-year Boston police veteran has not been arrested, but he will appear in court in March. Boston police officials had no comment on the case yesterday. "We are awaiting the outcome of an investigation,'' said Boston police spokesman Dave Estrada. The allegations against Lopriore were first made last March, when there was a complaint filed in East Boston District Court on felony larceny charges. The basis of the complaint came from five fraudulent detail cards that he submitted claiming he worked details for the D'Allessandro County. on Chelsea Street.


Death of Deputy Featured on Cops Still Mystery
Broward County, FL - The family of a retired deputy is pleading for help to learn more about the hit and run accident that killed him last March. Michael Hoffman (episode #104, 105, 107, 110, 112), a retired Broward County sheriff's deputy, was riding his motorcycle on Interstate 595 when he pulled into traffic and was struck by a second motorcyclist. The rider of the second motorcycle ditched his bike after the collision and took off on the back of a third motorcycle. Florida Highway Patrol investigators said after the hit-and-run, they found a receipt for a purchase of spark plugs in the abandoned motorcycle, and traced it to a store. The surveillance tape from the store showed two men making the purchase. Investigators said they want to talk to those men about the circumstances surrounding Hoffman's death. Monday, Hoffman's daughter was at an FHP press conference where she showed a segment of the television show "Cops" that featured her father and asked for the public's help. If you have any information about the hit-and-run or the two men that investigators want to question, you are asked to call Broward County Crimestoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.


Cincinnati Pulls Plug on 'Cops' 
After a raucous Cincinnati City Council session on Wednesday in which several council members demanded that Police Chief Tom Streicher stop allowing camera crews for the Fox reality series Cops to ride along in police vehicles, Streicher reluctantly withdrew the invitation to the show's producers, Langley Productions, on Thursday. "Personally, I think it's the loss of a golden opportunity to showcase the police department," he told today's (Friday) Cincinnati Inquirer. "But why be in the midst of another controversy?" As reported by the newspaper, at one point Councilman Christopher Smitherman said that no one needed to see local police "hogtying" African-Americans, a remark that led an official of the Fraternal Order of Police to reply that Cincinnati officers don't hogtie suspects and that Smitherman should apologize for his remarks. Vice Mayor Alicia Reece commented: "I don't know if we want to put our fate in the hands of an editor in California." Streicher told the newspaper that Cops producers were furious about the decision, saying it was the first time that any city had ever withdrawn an invitation. Crews had filmed in Cincinnati for two days and had planned to remain for eight weeks.


"Cops" Celebrates Its 550th Episode
Currently in its 16th season, the four-time Emmy Award-nominated series COPS will celebrate its 550th episode, making it one of the longest-running entertainment shows on television. The 550th episode is the first of back-to-back "War on Drugs: Special Edition" episodes that feature stings and drug dealers' bizarre behavior on Saturday, Feb. 7 (8:00-8:30 and 8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.


NYC, New York - Court TV's COPS continues to be a strong performer for the cable network devoted to crime and justice. When Court TV introduced the show to its viewers with a 19-hour marathon over COPS Labor Day 1999, the network broke records with a 1.6* prime time rating (non-OJ Simpson trial coverage). The four-time Emmy-nominated series airs weeknights from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m./ET on Court TV. COPS pioneered the use of video-verite, bringing the viewer directly into the action as it takes place without the use of scripts, actors or narrators. John Langley is the executive producer of COPS for Barbour/Langley Productions, Inc., which is also producing the new original series, Anatomy of Crime for Court TV airing early in 2000.


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