Recently, in my government imposed, hermit mode, I have been watching a new series on CBS. The name of the show is Tommy and the lead character is Edie Falco, of Sopranos fame.
I am drawn to cop, and lawyer shows – having worked with so many in my professional career. And this is, like so many, a gung-ho copy show out to get the bad guys. But where this show is different, and what made me stop and think ‘What’?!?!’ is that the police here WANT to go by the book!
In one episode, there is a suspected bomber, who the police believe is targeting an event in which the mayor will be present. There is a very smart, motivated, up and coming detective working communications. He tells the police chief, Tommy, that the last chief would allow them, in these cases, to use surveillance equipment to listen to citizens conversations looking for the bomber at the scene. ‘Tommy’ says ‘are these private conversations? being had by citizens?’. She refuses the surveillance. She finds an alternate way to catch the bad guy.
The story line even goes so far as to show that smart young man putting in for a transfer, to further his career, where his new chief will use the tools available to stop criminals. But the point being made here, and in real life, is that those agencies do so illegally.
I think strongly of the police in the proactive stings. How they have chosen to bend the rules for the sake of making arrests. I even think many of them have convinced themselves that they are doing the right thing. Making the public safer. It’s only a thin line they are crossing….
There have been a number of other situations in this show where i’ve though ‘huh. that’s the way its supposed to be’. At least one time each episode I am struck by the lead characters – well, character. She holds dear the rules of police engagement. She holds even more closely the rights of citizens as they are written in our laws and constitution.
To say the least the show is refreshing. To say more, hopefully, is that Hollywood has noticed some of the MANY injustices occurring around the country. Whatever the reason is, I’m very happy to watch a cop show with integrity. That’s the way I like to think of the people who swear the oath of duty – that they have integrity. In reality however, as you and I all know firsthand, too often these peoples wide eyed wonder to serve others, turns to corruption, hunger for power, and motivation for the very things that make integrity impossible in that difficult profession.