Sociology and Anthropology
SAMUEL MOOR (Sociology: Criminology & Criminal Justice)
Cops vs. Live PD
Sponsor: Megan Parry (Criminology & Criminal Justice)
Since they first began airing in the 1980’s, the public have been fascinated with reality television programs depicting police work. These shows also offer a unique perspective for viewers by inviting them into a world that most do not interact with on a daily basis. They also offer a valuable avenue for researchers to analyze police-citizen interactions, both in the programs themselves as well as how they have evolved over time. This study makes use of content analysis to qualitatively examine and compare the messaging of two popular police “reality” programs: COPS and Live PD. Preliminary analysis indicates a movement by the genre to embrace and depict elements of policing more in line with current policing initiatives such as community oriented policing and problem oriented policing. Implications for research and policy will also be presented.