Plan for reality TV series ‘COPS’ to film episodes in Paterson draws backlash

A plan for reality television series 'COPS' to film episodes in Paterson draws backlash.

A plan for reality television series 'COPS' to film episodes in Paterson draws backlash. (6/10/16)

PATERSON - A proposal to film episodes of the long-running reality television series “COPS” in Paterson is drawing some backlash.

Producers of the hit show want to come to the Passaic County city in July and film for 10 weeks. However, some members of the Paterson City Council are concerned that the series will portray Paterson as a crime-riddled and violent city.  

"I’m afraid that we may be targeted.  I’m concerned about that,” says community activist Linda Gallashaw. “It’s always showing the minority, especially black American to be a negative light in the community and that's not true."

Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale says that having the show film in Paterson may actually be a positive thing.

"Let’s show people Paterson is safe.  Let’s show what Paterson really faces.  Are there situations where there are serious crimes?  Of course there is, but you have this in any location,” he says.

Speziale also says that having the show film in Paterson during the summer months, when crimes rates sometimes rise, could act as a crime deterrent.

The Paterson City Council president tells News 12 New Jersey that the city is requesting an updated contract with the show’s producers that proves that the city will be able to approve what content goes to air. The council hopes to have that contract by their next meeting on Tuesday.

“COPS” did film throughout Passaic County once before, about 10 years ago.

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