Pretty far from the original TV Police Woman, Sgt. Pepper Anderson, or even Officer Stacy Sheridan on T.J. Hooker, the new Discovery Channel (TLC) reality series Police Women of Broward County shows the day-to-day lives of several police women doing routine police work on the streets of Broward County, FL. Broward County is what is left of the area between Palm Beach and Miami when you take out Ft. Lauderdale (a different jurisdiction). That leaves the unincorporated areas, trailer parks and crime-plagued suburbs of Broward as the primary setting for the show. Unfortunately CSI Miami gets all the rich, well-dressed and well-spoken South Florida bad guys so all we see are baggy pant, shirtless perps and bystanders.
The police women deputies Andrea, Shelunda, Julie and Ana all have different jobs and shifts. The deputies and detectives handle everything from investigating special (sex) crimes, serving warrants and addressing street crimes.
On the Job
On the beat with Broward Sheriff’s Office S.E.T. member Ana Murillo in Broward County, Florida.
An example is when one of the police women was tasked (with a much larger force) to take down a drug dealer that was involved in a sting to sell drugs (which we never saw and was somebody else’s investigation). The Perp drove into the parking lot and was surrounded by the police woman (and a half-dozen uncredited deputies) who screamed “HANDS, SHOW ME YOUR HANDS” (which is all you heard because only she was wearing a microphone) as she pointed her pistol through the front windshield as the other arresting officers took the guy into custody. The scene ended with the police woman telling the camera how it was a perfect arrest because nobody got hurt, and a bad guy got taken off the street (all true).
However, it seems like some of the monologues by the female deputies could have been outtakes from Jack Webb’s Dragnet. The officers spend time between calls to extol the virtues of taking bad guys off the street and using the criminal justice system to better the lives of citizens they protect. Yes, it is all true and good, but do cops really talk like that halfway through a midnight shift? Although the producers have taken great strides to make the show very “strong woman” themed and acceptable to the BSO’s leadership, it portrays police women characters who are a little too perfect with some of the outcomes too predictable. In addition, listening to the ranting of a stoned bimbo or high small-time perp cuffed on the curb was marginally interesting when COPS first did it two decades ago, and the dialogue hasn’t changed that much:
On the beat with Broward Sheriff’s Office Andrea Penoyer in Pompano Beach, Florida
Cop – “Tell me what happened.”
Perp – “Nuthin man.”
Cop – “I’ll tell your parole officer that you helped us.”
Perp – “I tell you, I was just ridin’ in the car.”
And so forth.
On the beat with Broward Sheriff’s Office Andrea Penoyer in Pompano Beach, Florida.
Banter For the Camera
I watched as a strong police woman overpowers a fleeing felon, I watched as a strong police woman trips up the story of a lying hooker and I watched as a strong police woman outsmarts a crackhead:
Cop – “I can tell when you are lyin’.”
Perp – “how?”
Cop – “Your lips are movin’.” (laugh)
Perp – (Genuinely confused) “Huh?”
I even watched how a strong police woman demanded and got her hair done EXACTLY as she wanted. Compelling TV. I think I get it: This shows strong police women prevailing even though they have husbands, children and partners that help or distract them from time to time. Next week I’m sure it will show strong off-duty police women sitting at the beach talking strong police women talk; no, wait. That was last week. They also showed several “fellow police women friends” going to a local gun shop to talk guns and ammo. The voice-over detailed how they enjoyed getting together to shoot the breeze about shooting and ended the segment with the (gorgeous and fully made up) deputies shooting the “big gun” AR-15 at 25 yard pistol targets (ready, aim, wet lips, fire).
On the beat with Broward Sheriff’s Office’s Shelunda Johnson-Cooper in Broward County, Florida.
Anytime we can show good and professional police work it is a win. As with any production it takes a little bit to shake out the bugs but the stars have great potential. At least one of the police women is tremendous on-camera and all have compelling stories. I fully intend to keep watching as these deputies are doing good and keeping the peace instead of waiting for somebody else to step up. They have my support and I appreciate everything they do and every sacrifice they make. As with any cop, they sacrifice a lot and risk it all with every shift, every call. You go girls.