Sheriff's Office Exits 'Live PD' As Producers Refuse To Give Video To DA

The new season of "Live PD" will air on Friday but Williamson County sheriff's deputies won't be participating in it.

Georgetown, TX – A new season of “Live PD” will launch on Friday but the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office won’t be participating in it this time.

The Williamson County Commissioner’s Court voted to pull its sheriff’s department off of the nation’s most popular reality show after the production company refused to allow the district attorney to have access to raw footage, Deadline reported.

Williamson County sheriff’s deputies made their debut on “Live PD” in November of 2018, and shortly thereafter, the district attorney asked production company Big Fish Entertainment for access to the raw footage, according to the San Marcos Daily Record.

District Attorney Shawn Dick and some defense attorneys argued that the footage contained potential evidence and could be used for investigations.

However, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office said that the production company had no legal obligation to preserve the video, the San Marcos Daily Record reported.

"I had always assumed that the footage was available if someone wanted to get it," Dick said. "I didn't realize that apparently the footage is being destroyed."

He took his complaints to local lawmakers and on Aug. 20, they voted to shut down participation in production.

“The Commissioners Court voted unanimously to terminate the contractual agreement between Williamson County and Big Fish Entertainment, the producer of the show ‘Live PD’,” Williamson County tweeted, according to Deadline.

The show was ordered to stop filming in 30 days which coincided perfectly with the launch of the new season on Sept. 20.

A spokesman for A&E told Deadline that the contract between Williamson County and Big Fish Entertainment was due to expire anyway, and that numerous other police departments were slated for the new season, Deadline reported.

Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody was disappointed by the county commissioners’ decision, KUT reported.

Sheriff Chody said that “Live PD” had been good for sheriff’s department recruitment and community engagement.

A group of law enforcement supporters quickly started a petition after the announcement, but framed it more as a statement of support for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Round Rock Patch.

Big Fish Entertainment also said they were disappointed that the show "became embroiled in Williamson County politics,” the San Marcos Daily Record reported.

"We thank the Williamson County Sheriff's Office and the community for their participation and wish everyone of Williamson County the best, as we shift our attention to the many other agencies around the country asking to work with 'Live PD,'" the production company said in a formal statement.

Not everyone is sad to see the filming stop in their community.

Williamson County resident Neitha Engert said she was glad the production contract wasn’t renewed by county commissioners, the San Marcos Daily Record reported.

"We are ruining people's lives by seeing them on their weakest day, and that doesn't need to be broadcast," Engert said.

Concerns had also been raised about the actual performance of the Williamson County sheriff’s deputies on the show, after an arrest featured live was being investigated for potential use-of-force violations, KUT reported.

Plus Sheriff Chody’s office was already investigating an offensive Facebook post by Sheriff’s Commander Steve Deaton when Commander Deaton was accused of having made an inappropriate remark about a female “Live PD” producer, according to the Round Rock Patch.

Big Fish Entertainment completed filming its last show with Williamson County just four days after the county commissioners voted to stop participation.

Comments (41)
No. 1-17
IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

Williamson County politics? The production company doesn't keep the raw data, and doesn't turn over a copy of it (upon request) to the DA or police, which can put the county in a bind.

Personally, I would have made that a requirement of the contract, and think any department that does this would be stupid not to get a copy of the raw data. Especially when some defense attorney uses a clip from Live PD demonstrating something in appropriate, and the department doesn't have the raw data to show that what was used on TV didn't contain the entire story.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

This story makes more sense if you have listened to the "Running From COPS" podcast. I believe that I recommended it here a couple months back, so many of you may have already listened to it.

E7MR
E7MR

"Williamson County resident Neitha Engert said she was glad the production contract wasn’t renewed by county commissioners, the San Marcos Daily Record reported.

"We are ruining people's lives by seeing them on their weakest day, and that doesn't need to be broadcast," Engert said."

Yeah, because God forbid we illustrate what happens to people who decide to run afoul of the law, perhaps to be used as an object lesson to those considering such actions.

4thaBlue
4thaBlue

In reality, I think the production company needs the cooperation of any of the departments to have a TV show. The departments don’t need the production company to do its job. So good that they are discontinuing with the show. And as for the lady who claims that it’s ruining people’s lives, THIS IS REALITY, stop living in denial and wake up and get your head out of the clouds.

JBo
JBo

I gotta say that I never really saw the upside to programs like that but apparently the public likes reality shows.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

How can the producer refuse to hand over evidence?

P. Henderson
P. Henderson

I for one really enjoy this show. I find hope that people will learn lessons by watching it. My grandchildren watch it as well. My hope is by seeing so many drug arrests and people driving drunk will show not only my grandchildren what can happen if they ever tried drug's or drinking and driving. I hope many learn by watching. Hopefully it will save lives. I do not have any symphony for those who are intoxicated either with drug's or alcohol and are arrested. I feel it makes the roads safer. I am relieved to see people go to jail for being so selfish. They do not care for others. If they did they would have a sober , responsible person drive them. God bless each and all.

Wish505
Wish505

Politics being the monster that it is was soon to poke it head up. Surprised that more and more political lime lighters are not exposing themselves. Granted having the video available for departments to use as useful parts of an investigation is good for the LE community and also for the citizens who have legitimate concerns.

TrueAmerican
TrueAmerican

I enjoyed watching those fine men & women. They didn't put up with any BULLSHIT from anyone, loved it and will miss following them! 🙏🏻💙🇺🇸

Blue33fp
Blue33fp

"I had always assumed that the footage was available if someone wanted to get it," Dick said. "I didn't realize that apparently the footage is being destroyed."

So let me get this straight: the DA simply assumed that he would have access to the raw video to be able to use in court if needed. I wonder if he just "assumes" his witnesses are telling the truth, and that his staff are doing their jobs, and that....

Not much of a lawyer it seems.

WilcoJokers
WilcoJokers

This story gets so much right and misses a few crucial details. The reality is so much worse both for deputies and citizens. This isnt politics. Chody's deputies call him Blue Falcon for good reason. He has had over 200 deputies leave out of a force of 400. Many were fired under false cause for disagreeing with Robert Chody. Texas Municipal Police Association recently released a biting rebuke of Williamson County Robert Chody which concluded that Chody was putting the lives of deputies at risk and making Williamson County less safe.

See this and more at: http://WilcoJokers.com

WilcoJokers
WilcoJokers

Texas Municipal Police Association recently released a biting rebuke of Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody concluding that his actions put deputies at risk and made Williamson County less safe.

Read about TMPA's statement and much, much more at: http://WilcoJokers.com.

Terminaters168
Terminaters168

But it’s ok for these people to Video police while they are trying protecting the public

LOCKTHEMUP
LOCKTHEMUP

Its a BORRRRING show. They don't show "all" of the scenes they go to. Certain ones they pass up on depending on what is happening at the scene live. "Live EDITED PD" is what they should call it.

We9erfam
We9erfam

JBo try watching it Friday. I hate to see them go there Lt. On the show Allyson explained what was going on.

junkmansj
junkmansj

Could have been video footage that was not used on the TV show so was not kept, cannot believe ALL footage is kept for later review

tfort
tfort

It's not the police's tape. They have not expectation of receiving it in any way, form or fashion.