Salinas police cite 'transparency' for making star turn on reality TV show

Sep 21, 2018

A Central Coast police department is making its debut as the star of an upcoming reality television show. Cable channel A&E’s documentary series “Live PD” will air its season three premiere from Salinas this weekend. Unlike other police reality television shows, “Live PD” offers a real-time view of a night of police operations. The Salinas Police Department is the first California agency to appear on the show.

Live PD” has broadcast live from 30 rural and urban areas across the country, including multiple cities in Florida, Louisiana and Texas, and viewers are asked to interact live on social media. The show promotes itself as offering a transparent look inside police operations across the country, in light of the ongoing debate over policing in America. Something, Salinas police department spokesperson Miguel Cabrera said, Salinas PD strives for as well.

“[The show] reflects the goal of being completely transparent with our community as far as what a police officer here in the city does,” Cabrera said.

Cabrera said Salinas Police Chief Adele Fresé agreed to the visit from “Live PD” in an effort to build stronger partnerships with the community. Cabrera also said the Salinas Police Department did not get paid by the show to be featured.

“There are no monetary rewards at all for us,” Cabrera said. “It’s just a way of sharing what the Salinas PD does on a daily basis.”

According to FBI data reviewed by the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice, crime in Salinas dropped in 2017, but the city’s homicide rate remains one of the highest in California. Cabrera said Salinas police officers can deal with a range of calls around the area on a weekend night.

“[On a Friday night] you could go from a serious, violent call to a police chase to something that is very low key and normal, like, [a] loud music call or somebody creating a disturbance,” Cabrera said.

“Live PD” television crews have been in Salinas for about a week getting ready for ride-alongs with Salinas police officers. The show airs Friday and Saturday at 9 PM on A&E in both the Eastern and Pacific time zones, so viewers on the East Coast will see the live feed. Here on the Central Coast, there will be a three-hour delay, which means California viewers can still interact online with the show, but not in real-time.