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Arizona law enforcement agencies split on benefits of ‘Live PD’

(Jake Bacon/Arizona Daily Sun via AP)

PHOENIX — The Pinal County Police Department’s contract renewal for “Live PD” is still to be announced as the show has gotten mixed reviews from officials.

Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb told Pinal Central that the reaction has been positive and that they were pleased with it.

The reality show centered on the day-to-day duties of police officers on Friday and Saturday nights. It is broadcast almost live to viewers.

Lamb said that the show has boosted the image of the department but other law enforcement agencies who have withdrawn from the show have cited economic development concerns.

Agencies from around the country, including departments in Oklahoma, Connecticut and Ohio, decided not to renew their contracts. They said the show spotlighted the criminal activity in the area, rather than focus on the positives happening in their communities.

However, Arizona officials said that they have not seen this.

“I can’t say that the show has helped or hurt economic development efforts,” Pinal County spokesman Joe Pyritz told Pinal Central.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety was featured on the first season of the show but has since parted ways after completing over 60 episodes.

“Much evaluation went into the decision to not return to ‘Live PD,'” DPS spokesman Bart Graves told Pinal Central. “The agency and ‘Live PD’ parted on very good terms and we enjoyed our time on the show but felt it best to not continue at this time.”

Lamb said he sees no reason why he wouldn’t renew the contract.

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