The Williamson County Commissioners Court signed off on a plan last week that could end with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office being featured on the national television series "Live PD," which follows law enforcement officers on duty.
A spokesperson for the sheriff's office confirmed the decision, which frees up Williamson County to negotiate a contract with the makers of the A&E Network program.
The program, similar to a live version of COPS, is hosted by longtime ABC News anchor Dan Abrams. He and others provide analysis as they cut between live video feeds of police encounters from a handful of different law enforcement agencies spread across the U.S.
According to a DVR survey, "Live PD" was the most recorded show of 2017, Deadline reported.
As detailed by the Philadelphia Tribune, some cities have ended their agreements with "Live PD" over concerns the TV program's spotlight on crime overshadowed the positive aspects of communities in Connecticut, Oklahoma and Ohio -- where the show has broadcast previously.
One of the most dramatic moments captured on the show happened last year when a deputy in South Carolina attempted to detain a man who was holding a toddler. The child had been in a car with the suspect as he led authorities on a high-speed chase that ended in a roll-over crash. The child reportedly suffered a broken arm but was okay.
But, Williamson County expressed high hopes about the program when discussing it with the Austin American-Statesman. Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody told the publication it would put a human face on law enforcement officers and help with recruitment.
The decision by the commissioner's court will allow Chody to negotiate a six-month deal that will not pay the county but does give the sheriff's office the power to cancel the agreement if things do not go well within a month's time, according to the Statesman.
The Williamson County Sheriff's Office said it was prevented from speaking further about any specific plans for the show, citing the ongoing contract negotiations.