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Los Angeles County officials postpone decision on sheriff's reality TV

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES- County supervisors delayed a decision on whether the Sheriff's Department should participate in two proposed reality TV shows.

The supervisors instead ordered county lawyers to research liability and privacy concerns, and at least one member of the board expressed serious reservations about taking part in the shows.

"Am I crazy?" Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said during Tuesday's board meeting. "Why would we even consider this? Why would we consider allowing this kind of thing in any of our highly restricted areas?"

The department, which runs the nation's largest jail system, was seeking to enter into agreements with 44 Blue Productions Inc. and Scott Sternberg Productions Inc. for shows that would depict deputies at work and cadets hoping to make the cut.

Tentatively titled "The Assignment," the 44 Blue Productions show would film the daily activities of deputies. The other show, with the working title "The Academy," would follow a number of cadets through training.

Sheriff Lee Baca has endorsed the proposed shows, saying they could play an important role in countering misconceptions about law enforcement. He also said he would retain the right to delete any scenes he deemed inaccurate or misrepresentative.

Baca said Hollywood producers often portray images of law enforcement that "do not fit in with the core values of the department." But these shows, he said, could offer "a lot of very interesting, positive stories about the men and women of the department and their work."

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