Hostless, reality-based show that covers police department activities in different cities around the U.S. heads into its seventh season with a look at the LAPD and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. “Cops” still has the vitality and gutsiness it had when it covered its first collar; it’s fascinating.
The episode starts dramatically with a siren going full blast as cops answer an officer-down report. Once at the scene, the commanding officer works efficiently to determine the situation and straighten out the problem.
The sheriffs handle the second case: An agitated informer reports a naked man has been hanging around the neighborhood performing an indecent act; the suspect , clothed, is found on a rooftop and pleads innocence.
Third case looks at a police trainee and her partner collecting a runaway juve, who claims his mother booted him out of the house. The two officers are straightforward and commanding, and they handle in pro style the sad plight of the mom and boy facing off.
There are no actors, no reenacted scenes, and the grittiness of true behavior under stress is strong stuff. Faces of accused are digitalized, but the essence of despair still comes graphically across. “Cops,” though it doesn’t rate Way Up There, is well done and enterprising. It also offers fodder for police dramas seeking truth in fiction.