Miami Vice (USA, 1984-1990) - Miami Vice is
an American television series produced by
Michael Mann for NBC. The show became
noted for its heavy integration and use of
music and visual effects to tell a story. The
series starred Don Johnson and Phillip Michael
Thomas as two Metro-Dade Police detectives
working undercover in Miami. It ran for five
seasons on NBC from 1984–1989. The USA
Network would later broadcast an unaired
episode during its syndication run of the series
on January 25, 1990.  
Less Destruction Equals
More Realism
Have you noticed the single big difference
between made for television police shows
and movies?  The level of violence and
property destruction is minuscule in the
television programming compared to the
big budget cop movies.  Of course,
money is the main factor.  Where the cop
movies rely on action to drive the
entertainment, the television genre relies
on plot and multiple characters to attract
their viewers.

The absence of gratuitous violence and
destruction in the made for television
police shows does provide much more
realism to the programming.  How often
do you see a police car being abused in a
television police show?  Sure, there’s
always the scene where two detectives
approach a suspect, and the suspect
runs.  The young detective chases the
suspect on foot while the older detective
jumps in the police car to cut off the
suspect’s escape.  The police car comes
to a stop as the suspect crashes into the
car’s fender.

You will, however, work with police
officers who have evidently watched a lot
more movies than television shows.  Of
course, all those movies eventually make
it to television, so the violence and action
in the form of property destruction does
have its negative effects.  You will be
amazed how some police officers get
caught up in the action of their own
circumstances and lose sight of end

The example I love to use is the golf
course.  If you ever drive your police car
onto a golf course in pursuit of a suspect
driving a vehicle or on foot, you are going
to be in so much trouble.  In a matter of
minutes, you could inflict hundreds of
thousands of dollars in damage to the
Television History
The First 75 Years
Law & Order: Criminal Intent (USA, 2001-2011
- Criminal Intent follows a distinct division of the
New York City Police Department: the "Major
Case Squad". The Major Case Squad
investigates high-profile cases (in most cases
murder, just like the regular Law & Order in
this sense), such as those involving VIPs, local
government officials and employees, the
financial industry, and the art world; though
sometimes the cases are similar to the cases
from the original Law & Order show as well.  
Page 6
Police Shows
Police Television Shows
Past and Present
Page 6
CRIMINAL MINDS revolves around an elite
team of FBI profilers who analyze the
country's most twisted criminal minds,
anticipating their next moves before they
strike again. The Behavioral Analysis
Unit's most experienced agent is David
Rossi, a founding member of the BAU
who returns to help the team solve
newcases. The team is lead by Special
Agent Aaron Hotchner, a strong profiler
who is able to gain people's trust and
unlock their secrets. Other members
Special Agent Derek Morgan, an expert
on obsessional crimes; Special Agent Dr.
Spencer Reid, a classically misunderstood
genius whose social IQ is as low as his
intellectual IQ is high; Jennifer "J.J."
Jareau, the team's confident unit liaison
who was called to a top Pentagon job but
returns to the BAU under mysterious
circumstances; and Penelope Garcia, a
computer wizard who helps research the
cases. Each member brings his or her
own area of expertise to the table as
they pinpoint predators' motivations and
identify their emotional triggers in the
attempt to stop them.
by Barry M. Baker
There’s only one scenario where I could
see you justify driving your police car
onto a golf course:  You receive a call –
this is important.  By receiving a call, you
have not initiated the action.  The details
of the call are that a vehicle is on the golf
course driving over fairways and greens,
and the driver is attempting to strike
golfers.  You drive your police car onto
the course, and you promptly crash your
car into the suspect disabling the
suspect’s vehicle.

In this scenario, you’ll be commended for
your quick and decisive action.  You’ve
protected lives and tens if not hundreds
of thousands of dollars in additional

If you were to see this scenario
portrayed in a movie or even a made for
television show, you wouldn’t see all the
construction equipment setting on the
sidelines.  The presence of that
equipment would be in preparation for
the demolition of the golf course to make
way for a residential housing

It’s all about cause and effect.  Any
property damage you cause in the
performance of your duty must always be
commensurate with the threat.  

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