Police Officers on Television

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Television has a great impact on ideas and attitudes of potential viewers, their perception of certain social groups and their social images. Critics admit that TV does not portray realistic images of police officers creating different images and identities of police officers and their values.


In many TV programs and shows, police officers are depicted as the front line of defense, as a strong force able to protect all citizens from all possible threats and crimes. Drugs, crime, and threats to the family and to safety generally are the stock-in-trade of these shows. However, programs like "Cops" depict the police as the front line of defense against such threats. "America's Most Wanted" gives viewers a sense of empowerment as they fight back with telephone calls that help to capture dangerous criminals. There is actual footage of the police in action, breaking down a door in a drug bust, or chasing and wrestling a suspect to the ground. In real life, police is unable to respond effectively to all reported cases of crimes and check all telephone calls coming each hour (Dowler 230). Also, some are concerned about the guarantee of confidentiality for callers that seemed to be compromised by televised comments identifying them as "neighbors" or "former girlfriends," or giving other identifiable characteristics. In real life, the source of skepticism is, for the most part, related to the experience of various forms of contact with the police. In reality, when you do try to help the police, the police never turn up until the crime's been committed. ...
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