Thursday, May 27, 2004

Taping of 'Cops' angers some on city council

By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The question raised in the theme song to Fox TV's Cops - "Bad boys, whatcha gonna do?" - seemed more than appropriate Wednesday when some members of Cincinnati City Council expressed their displeasure with the popular television series filming here.

Vice Mayor Alicia Reece said she was "upset and appalled" that the show is being filmed in Cincinnati, especially without council's input or consent. She said now is a bad time to be shooting footage of Cincinnati police officers on the job since the city is dealing with 31 homicides so far this year.

Reece said the city should end the filming, if it's not too late. Crew members from Cops arrived in Cincinnati Tuesday to begin eight weeks of filming.

"I do not see the benefit of bringing Cops into our city," Reece said. "I don't think video of people getting arrested or people getting shot is the image we want to portray."

Police Chief Tom Streicher, who made the decision to allow crews to film in Cincinnati, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Reece, who has traveled across the country trying to polish Cincinnati's national image, said a show that "sensationalizes" crime could hurt the city's ability to attract tourists and businesses. She said events such as the Ohio Classic & Jamboree football game, the Midwest Regional Black Family Reunion and the grand opening of the Underground Railroad Freedom Center would all be occurring around the time the episode could air.

"I can think of all kinds of negative things that can come from this," Councilman Pat DeWine said. "I can't think of anything positive."

City Manager Valerie Lemmie said the chief did confer with her and Mayor Charlie Luken about the show.

"The chief felt it would portray a positive image of what we do every day," Lemmie said.


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