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The TV and DVD series, “Cops,” can teach the general public how to be more “street smart” about street criminals and more knowledgeable about police officers. This education will help law abiding citizens to better avoid street crime and to more effectively cooperate with their local police officers.

The TV series, “Cops,” has run for well over 900 episodes in the past 26 seasons. Camera crews ride along with police officers in 140 different U.S. cities during their police patrols and other activities. There is no scripted dialogue. The camera crews assume a “fly on the wall” demeanor and record the spontaneous commentary and actions of both police officers and suspects with whom they come into contact in crime infested neighborhoods.

“Cops” won the American Television Award in 1993 and also has earned four Emmy nominations. There is more information about “Cops” on their web site.

Examples of some of the real life events recorded during these police patrols and other activities include:

  1. Car chases, car rolls, and crashes.
  2. Criminal arrests.
  3. Assaults and street fights.
  4. Tazings and shootings.
  5. Confrontations with drunks, shoplifters, and thieves.
  6. Drug busts and subway mugger stings.
  7. Domestic disputes.
  8. Wild parties and biker rallies.

Examples of some of the DVD selections from the TV series include:

  1. Cops: 20th Season Anniversary Edition.
  2. Cops: Bad Girls.
  3. Cops: Caught in the Act.
  4. Bad Cops: Vol. 1

It is necessary, however, to keep this reality show in perspective. Although learning about street criminals is important, nobody should ignore or minimize the threat of white collar criminals. Examples of white collar crimes are fraud, bribery , Ponzi schemes, insider trading , embezzlement, cybercrime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery.

“Cops” gives average citizens the next best thing to the ride-along experiences on police patrols that people such as aspiring officers, officer spouses, dispatchers, community activists, and scholars often enjoy. Such experiences can be eye openers and life savers.



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