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Having a live TV show would be unfair to those who have not been charged with a crime, Des Moines police Sgt. Paul Parizek says. Brian Powers/The Register

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Nearly two million people watch A&E Networks' "Live PD" every week. If you're wondering whether it could make an appearance in Iowa's capital city, Des Moines police Sgt. Paul Parizek shot that idea down in a hurry.

During Hour 2 of Tuesday's "The Morning Rush"  — which airs 6 to 8 a.m. weekdays on 1460-AM (KXNO) — Parizek joined his wife, co-host Heather Burnside, in studio for part of the show. He goes by the nickname "5-0."

A listener called in wanting to know if "Live PD" would ever come to Des Moines.

"I don't know," Parizek said. "I don't know if they're necessarily invited."

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What is 'Live PD'?

Currently in its second season, "Live PD" is a popular close-to-real-time police show with camera crews following officers from several U.S. police departments on duty. "Live PD" also shows some segments that were recorded earlier.

It airs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. CST on A&E. 

Last Saturday, "Live PD" generated more than 1.9 million viewers — ranking third for the day, the Nielsen Company says. The NBA Playoffs topped the list with 3.6 million viewers and SportsCenter was second at 2.7 million.

"As the debate over the policing of America continues to be a part of the daily conversation across the nation, 'Live PD' viewers get unfettered and unfiltered live access inside a variety of the country’s busiest police forces, both urban and rural, and the communities they patrol on a typical night," the show’s website says.

Why 'Live PD' likely won't come to Des Moines 

During an interview Friday with the Des Moines Register, Parizek explained how the principles by which "Live PD" operates "doesn't really go with the way we want to handle our video."

"We're recording everything we do all the time," Parizek explained, emphasizing the increased recent discussion and usage of body and vehicle cameras. 

"One thing we've taken very seriously is to make sure the people we do deal with are treated appropriately, whether it's somebody who's been arrested or someone who we're just having contact with during a crisis. We keep that video as private and secure as we can and confidential until all the background kind of things are taken care of," Parizek said. "If we'd arrest somebody, that video is evidence."

A similar show, "Cops," has been in Des Moines three times, with its most recent trip in 2014. Parizek said the department had "very positive experiences" with the show. In fact, he still keeps in touch with one of its executive producers.

"You're definitely going to get a front-row seat in life when you watch. You're gonna see the things that we see," Parizek said of the two shows. "It's just I think for us, again, we want to maintain some of the integrity of our investigations — and sometimes that means holding back video until a person's had their opportunity to get through court.

Parizek also said "Live PD" hasn't reached out to him or Des Moines police's media office.

Some PDs have changed their minds

Some of the first police departments that have appeared on the show opted to not renew their contracts with A&E due to the national spotlight on criminal activity overshadowing the positive things happening in these areas, the Associated Press reported in January.

These are the current law enforcement agencies regularly appearing on the show:

  • Pinal County (Arizona) Sheriff's Office
  • Gwinnett County (Georgia) Sheriff's Office
  • Pasco County (Florida) Sheriff's Office
  • Slidell (Louisiana) Police Department
  • Greene County (Missouri) Sheriff's Office
  • Nye County (Nevada) Sheriff's Office
  • Richland County (South Carolina) Sheriff's Department
  • El Paso (Texas) Police Department  
  • Fort Bend County (Texas) Sheriff's Office

To prevent airing disturbing content or release information prematurely, there's a delay in the "Live PD" broadcast. However, the daughter of a Springfield, Missouri, man killed in a deputy-involved shooting last month says the show "for sure" filmed her father's death and worried that "Live PD" could air the footage.

"Honestly I feel like it's a huge violation of privacy to have it nationally aired.," April Simcoe told the Springfield News-Leader in April. "If they were to show the whole thing on national television, it would be extremely insensitive to exploit someone's family just to gain ratings."

Cpl. James Craigmyle of the Greene County Sheriff's Office told CBS affiliate KOLR10 that the footage aired on "Live PD" didn't show the suspect being shot and didn't think the show aired it in bad taste.

"They did cut it right at the last shot when deputies were requesting medical assistance for the suspect at that time, Craigmyle said. 

The News-Leader reported it obtained the contract that Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott signed with Big Fish Entertainment — the company that produces "Live PD."

According to the contract, the News-Leader says, the sheriff's office has 48 hours to "review and comment on any pre-recorded segments" of the show and can comment on possible safety or security risks, like identifying confidential informants or undercover officers, the contract said. But the producers ultimately have the final say on what makes it to the show.

Additionally, the News-Leader reports that the producer of "Live PD" is the sole owner of any footage and can use it an "unlimited number of times," the contract said.

The contract does not indicate there is any money exchanged.

In January 2017, "Live PD" captured a shooting victim's death inadvertently in Columbia, South Carolina. Camera crews were with the Richland County Sheriff's Office.

David Doss, executive producer of "Live TV" and former executive producer of NBC's Nightly News, told NBC affiliate WISTV.com it's never the show's intention to broadcast a death on live television.   

"This is a tragedy and we were there, we were documenting it," Doss said. "It was inadvertent, our hearts go out to the family and all of the people that were involved there, it was a very, very ... stunning and obviously very tragic moment."

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