AZTEC – The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office will be one of the rotating law enforcement departments featured in A&E Network’s newest reality show, “Live PD: Wanted,” the department announced Wednesday.
The agency began filming last week for the show’s 12-week first season, premiering at 10 p.m. Thursday, said Jayme Harcrow, spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s an opportunity to highlight our agency and the work we do,” she said.
The original program, “Live PD,” airs on a 20-second to 20-minute delay and focuses on regular patrols, but the new spin-off will be pre-recorded and follow police departments around the nation as they track down fugitives and execute outstanding warrants.
San Juan County has roughly 16,000 active warrants, including over 1,000 felony warrants, according to the department. Since filming with A&E began Oct. 8, the Sheriff’s Office has executed about 17 warrant arrests, Harcrow said.
While the Sheriff’s Office previously partnered with the cable network for various pilot projects, it has never made it to air, Harcrow said.
For this series, it was important filming would not disrupt the day-to-day work of the department and the officers could sign on voluntarily to film, Harcrow said. “We have outgoing deputies who are good at their job,” she said.
The department’s agreement with the network comes about three months after the Santa Fe Police Department decided to end its connection with “Live PD” despite having a “great experience,” citing rising insurance rates, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Although the department sought buy-in from deputies, Harcrow said the A&E Network had its own team of lawyers ensuring filming did not violate legal privacy rights of individuals.
“We don’t highlight anyone in our community other than what’s public information, like arrests and warrants,” she said.