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Cops - S01 E01

Crime . Action . Reality . Reality-TV

This program was filmed during a one week period with the Broward County Sheriff's Department in Florida. All Suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. (Full theme song) Sheriff Nick Navarro goes with a SWAT team to a crack house where people live in boxes, have a crack altar and use a bucket for a toilet. The entire place is absolutely vile. Then an officer is killed in the line of duty and Nick goes to the funeral. (District 2) Deputy Jerry Wurms stops a black man in his car at a convenience store and finds a gun. A man and a woman are seen in a known drug area and are questioned because he is white in an all black area. When he goes to get her wallet out of the car he takes it and runs. Jerry chases him and says, "Stop or I'll shoot you in the back!" He doesn't stop. He is caught and they are both arrested. She goes insane and screams her innocence. (Headquarters - Organized Crime Division) Capt. Ron Cacciatore takes calls and answers questions from Sgt. Dennis Gavalier and Deputy Vickie Cutcliff. He then goes out and talks to an officer and goes to a coke buy at a train station. He and the undercover officer catch a guy with his wife with two kilos of coke and bags of cash. The girl doesn't want to talk and just wants to puke. Drug Task Force Briefing - A map is on the board and the group discusses it. (7:03 PM Field Briefing) During a lightning storm. Ron returns home to watch Superman on TV and his wife heard about the train bust on the news and wants to talk about it. She wants to know the details, but he doesn't want to talk about it. She says she married him because he is a cop and thought their lives would be exciting, but their communication level is zero. He says he just wants to relax and not talk about work. Besides, if he did tell her, he'd have to kill her. (7:15 PM Warrant Served) Their driver is told to slow down and then the cops spill out and slam into a crack house. A giant fat, black man won't surrender and they have to tackle him. Another suspect who makes the drugs is questioned. It is his parents' house and they all will be arrested. The son refuses to talk and he tells him he had his chance. (9:00 AM) Sgt. Richard Scheff goes to work and gets a call about a dead body found floating in a nearby canal. They go there by helicopter as it is pulled out. They found his clothes on the shore inside out. He is nude and his body has not been eaten yet and there is no sign of trauma. (Roll Call District 2) Lt. Bob Rios talks about the guy Jerry chased in the first part. He talks about how it is to be a cop and about his girlfriend. She is Officer Linda Canada whom he works with. We then see her stop a suspected prostitute, then an older woman on the street. (8:45 AM Canada Home) Jerry makes breakfast for her two kids including a two year old and he explains how he is planning on moving in with her. They eat breakfast and read about an officer who just died. (Officer in Court) Airport Interdiction Officer - Vickie goes to the airport and randomly searches people for drugs and most give her a hard time. Then she is at home with her two kids playing in the yard. The next day she and her partner are at the airport searching people again. The second guy is all nervous, then gets angry and says the bag he has isn't is. Then he wants a warrant. Then he admits the bag is his. She arrests him and he goes nuts and starts fighting everyone and she goes down. They take him away and find he had a stolen gun and six ounces of coke. He then calls his girlfriend and mom to tell them he's going away for a while. Vickie has been doing the same job for ten years. (Crackdown Briefing) On July 8th they are going to arrest 150 people, tow 200 cars and bulldoze houses. Sheriff Nick then goes up in a helicopter and the rest of the team gears up. (8:47 AM Crack House Warrant) The team enters a house and finds a Tech 9, sawed off, pistols and bags of drugs. (11:16 AM Reverse Drug Sting) Jerry and Linda are in a car while a cop makes deals on the street. (1:45 PM Buy Busts). (4:35 PM Street Sweeps) A screaming woman is arrested. Then Richard watches the 10 O'clock news of the days coverage and the airport officer talks about finding kids at drug busts.

Episode Title: Broward County, FL #1
Airs: 1989-03-11 at 20:00
  • Marvin Kitman

    Don't miss the pilot. It's the best new crime series of the year, whatever you call it, tabloid TV, exciting TV, real TV. [6 Jan 1989]

    Newsday Full Review
  • Howard Rosenberg

    On the one hand, it's absolutely captivating, raw and unpredictable, a bubbling boiler of excitement rendered in the style of CBS' "48 Hours" and unrivaled by conventional cop dramas in prime time...On the other hand, the camera assumes the disgusting role of hanging judge by prematurely filling the screen with the faces of numerous suspects swept up in drug busts, some of whom may turn out to be innocent or may even go uncharged, for all we know. [7 Jan 1989, p.C1]

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Joseph P. Kahn

    Be forewarned: Cops may not be everyone's cup of tea. The language is raw, the emotions intense, and some of the scenes, like the one where a homicide unit fishes a cadaver out of a canal, are definitely not for the squeamish. But give credit to Cops' producers. They didn't want "pretty," and they didn't want Armani. They wanted the real stuff. What they got makes "Miami Vice" look like a cop-out. [7 Jan 1989, p.30]

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Robert P. Laurence

    More compelling than the general run of fictional drama, and often funnier, sadder and more poignant, Cops at first seems to be an unassembled jigsaw puzzle...This is a documentary being pieced together before our eyes. There is a strong, undeniable element of tabloid TV in Cops, of sensationalism and exploitation. But there is more. There is a picture of the toll this kind of work takes on the human beings who do it. Cops may also make television stars of its subjects.[11 March 1989, p.C-11]

    San Diego Union-Tribune Full Review
  • Steve Sonsky

    An ugly little glimpse into our hometown community...A cinema-verite, hand-held camera walk on the wild side with the Broward County Sheriff's Office.. A televised tour into (Broward's) heart of darkness...It had real energy. It was tense, taut, a video knuckle sandwich. You were with those cops as they chased fleeing perps, wrestled with muscled smugglers. And you couldn't help but be impressed with the heroism and dedication of the men and women on the streets -- Sheriff Nick 'I Never Met A Camera Angle I Didn't Like' Navarro's grandstanding antics notwithstanding. [Jan 1989]

    Miami Herald Full Review