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Mayor Has Banned 'Cops' in Albuquerque

By Leanne Potts
Journal Staff Writer
    Mayor Martin Chávez said he couldn't agree more that being on "Cops" is bad for the city.
    "The city's police officers are portrayed in a good light (on 'Cops'), but the rest of the city looks horrible," Chávez said. "That has a real impact. That's all people see, and that's not who we are."
    Chávez said Wednesday that sometime after his election in 2001, he told Albuquerque Police Department Chief Gil Gallegos not to let "Cops" film here again. "They haven't been on the show since my election," he said.
    But "Cops" camera crews were here in fall 2002, about a year after Chávez took office. And the "Cops" moratorium was news to APD spokesman Jeff Arbogast, who is the department's liaison with the show.
    After checking with Gallegos on Thursday, though, Arbogast confirmed the ban. "The department has decided to hold off on having 'Cops' return," he said.
    In any case, the mayor's prohibition on future "Cops" shows won't do anything about all the old episodes that are floating about the airwaves in the eternity of syndication.
    "Cops" reruns air on Court TV and the FX Network, on hundreds of local Fox stations across the United States and in 26 countries.
    Brian Collins of Langley Productions, the Los Angeles-based production company that makes "Cops," says he gets e-mails from fans in Australia asking for more episodes.
    "We're everywhere!" he said. "I know here in L.A. we're on the local affiliate three times a day."
    Just think. At this moment, somewhere in the world, somebody may be sitting in the flickering glow of his TV watching APD officers raid a dilapidated, drug-ridden motel on East Central.
    And he's thinking what this person wrote in a post at the TV fan site Jumptheshark.com: "How much crime can there be in Albuquerque, New Mexico? They taped so many shows in that town, I'm ready never to visit."
    Reruns, it seems, live forever.
    "There's not a lot we can do about that," Chávez said. "That's water under the bridge."