Law enforcement agencies to rethink public access after 'Cops' c - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Law enforcement agencies to rethink public access after 'Cops' crew member killed


In the wake of the shooting death of a crew member of the long running television show "Cops" local law enforcement is taking pause.

Police in Omaha, NE said cameraman Bryce Dion was hit by a bullet fired by a police officer in the crossfire. Dion is believed to be the first member of the "Cops" production staff killed in the 25 year history of the television show.

Several local agencies said they are going back and looking at their own polices about public access because of this incident.

Often times media shows up to active investigations or active crime scenes or ride along with law enforcement on stings, but it's not just media.

In Effingham County, there is a citizen ride along program for education purposes. That is a program that will be reevaluated. People do have to sign waivers, but law enforcement bear that ultimate responsibility.

Another policy that they will look at is how much of a crime scene should be blocked off. Should it be more, and how close can the public get? That will be looked at as well. Effingham County said they pride themselves on being transparent, but cannot risk someone's life.

"We are not saying we are going to make any immediate changes now, but with what happened over there in Omaha, it shows things can happen," said ECSO Spokesman David Ehsanipoor. "It is kind of a wake-up call. We can all be complacent in certain ways, but this shows it can happen in an instant."

Other agencies feel the same. Ride-alongs and public access programs and policies will be looked at going forward.

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