Mayor’s appointed Board approves of Terre Haute Police contract with reality TV show.
Vigo County Commissioner Brendan Kearns has spoken out about the approval by the Board of Public Works to allow the Terre Haute Police Department to be filmed for the reality TV show on A&E, LIVE PD.
Kearns stated that it was a poor decision and that the TV show will exploit our community for personal gain while showing our friends, family, and neighbors and in their toughest of times.
City Council member and Mayoral candidate Karrum Nasser said recently that the show wouldn’t want to come to Terre Haute if the crime rate has fallen as much as claimed by current Mayor Bennett.
A look at the Uniform Crime Reporting data from the FBI for 3 of the cities currently featured on the show LIVE PD reveals the following data on those respective communities.
Tulsa OK in 2017 had a population of 404,868. The Tulsa Police Dept. reported 4214 violent crimes (70 murder, 423 rape, 964 robbery, 2757 assault) and 22,088 property crimes.
Tulsa in 2018 saw it’s population decrease to 403,147 and report 4294 violent crimes. (60 murder, 422 rape, 830 robbery, 2982 assaults)
Tallahassee, Fl is another City featured on LIVE PD
Tallahassee PD in 2017 report 1503 violent crimes (17 murder, 190 rape, 348 robbery, 948 assault) and 9428 property crimes. The population was 192,455
In 2018 Tallahassee’s population was 192,443. The police department report a total of 1404 violent crimes that year. (16 murder, 213 rape, 307 robbery, 868 assault). Property crime totals were 8695.
East Providence, RI in 2017 had a population of 47,502.
2017 police reported 69 violent crimes ( 1 murder, 14 rape, 9 robbery, 45 assault) and a total of 578 property crimes.
2018 the population was 47526 and the city reported 50 violent crimes (2 murder, 12 rape, 5 robbery, 31 assault) and 515 property crimes.
Although Terre Haute does not have the data available for 2017 or 2018 on the FBI website, 2016 data is.
Terre Haute’s population was 60,830 and reported 157 violent crimes. (4 murders, 34 rapes, 96 robbery, 23 assault) and 3150 property crimes.
Crime rates for Tulsa, Tallahassee, and East Providence have remained basically unchanged over the past 3 years (2016,2017,2018)
Councilman Karrum Nasser’s speculation that the crime rate in Terre Haute probably has not dropped, as Mayor Bennett has claimed, is difficult to substantiate. Circumstantial evidence may support it. Mayor Bennett’s claim is equally unproven by the data available to the public.
So, would LIVE PD choose to put production cost into a community were it’s viewers are unlikely to see the type of material that draws the 4 million viewers to tune in on Friday and Saturday evenings? Only BigFish productions could answer that. They claim on their website that they follow the “busiest police forces in America” and offer “unfettered and unfiltered access”
When you call the police for help on Friday or Saturday night you must be prepared to be on national television. The choice is not yours to make, it is up to a production team to determine if it is interesting enough to air. As residents of Tulsa have shown, a dispute with a neighbor, a broken window, and of course too much to drink always makes better TV when momma still has her nightgown on.
When asked about the decision to allow the LIVE PD to film with the police department Mayor Bennett told a local news outlet “that’s the nature of the beast. It is real. It is live. That is what happens. To hide or act like that doesn’t happen is wrong”
A Terre Haute resident was asked by TerreHauteNews to comment on this story, but would only say “I hope nobody I know ends up on TV in a nightgown”.