CINCINNATI - An apparent Cincinnati police arrest captured on the TLC reality TV show, "Police Women of Cincinnati" is creating controversy more than two years since it first aired after Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig said a scene from the show was "staged" for entertainment value.
Craig issued a statement on the department's Facebook page Wednesday night regarding TLC coverage of Cincinnati police officer Mandy Curfiss putting a man in handcuffs after he refused to let authorities in to a house. The video — which aired on episode four of "Police Women of Cincinnati" on Feb. 3, 2011 — has been posted "on a number of different websites" and has led many people to call for Curfiss' resignation.
In the episode, Curfiss responded to a house for a noise complaint and requested entry, but two men refused to let her in. The men said she needed a warrant to get in the house. Curfiss then put one man in handcuffs and said he would be charged with obstruction of justice.
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Even though the incident happened before Craig joined Cincinnati Police Department in August 2011, he launched an investigation through the department's Professional Standards Section. Following the investigation, Craig said the footage in the episode included parts that were staged.
"In summary of the completed investigation, the two minute segment was edited from over forty minutes of footage recorded by the producers of the television show," Craig wrote in the statement. "Following a final disposition of the original call for service, the involved parties who exited the home agreed to ‘stage' additional footage with purpose to further entertainment value for the proposed viewing audience."
Craig said that although Curfiss put one man in handcuffs, no one was formally arrested or criminally charged.
"In short, the two minute edited version of the incident is not a full reflection of how events transpired during the forty minutes the officers were on scene," Craig said on Facebook.
Cincinnati police representatives could not elaborate on if Curfiss or other officers on the show knew about staging that may have occurred during the show's filming.
In 2010, then-police chief Tom Streicher entered into an agreement with TLC to film "Police Women of Cincinnati." The show followed four female Cincinnati police officers as they investigated homicides, robberies, drug busts and domestic violence, all while balancing children and life at home. Camera crews spent eight weeks filming the police officers for the fifth season of the hit series.
Craig said that he recognizes the footage "caused some degree of dissatisfaction among the viewing audience" and that the department is working to uphold its professionalism.
"Although I am unable to manage the past, I am committed to upholding our officers to the highest standards," he said in the statement.
Many people have responded to Craig's comment on the department's Facebook page and voiced their opinions about the TLC show's content.
Mitch Miller said Curfiss' actions were not constitutional and she should be removed from the force.
"Officer Mandy is clearly unsuited for the responsibility that comes with having a position of power. If she cannot respect the law, and our basic rights that are granted by the Constitution of the United States of America, then she does not belong anywhere in public service. Please remove her from the Police Force, as she is the sort of stain that the American public needs to see washed away," Miller wrote on Facebook.
Jeff Hagy said the decisions made under previous leadership should not affect the department now.
"And as clearly pointed out above, James Craig was not chief of police at the time and should not be held accountable for things in the past. Nor can an officer be held accountable for something a past administration condoned and permitted. It was a bad decision and has been recognized as such, and actions have been taken so it wont happen again," Hagy posted on Facebook.
Briggs Hall suggested the investigation into the show's content was a waste of money.
"And this [i]s the worst problem in Cincinnati to waste tax payers money on, wow only anti-police people would care," Hall wrote.
Emily Foy Klotz's tongue-in-cheek response questions if there is ever truth in TV.
"You mean we can't believe everything we see on TV?" she posted on Facebook. "Consider my mind blown!"
Craig was not available for comment Thursday.
Calls to TLC representatives at its parent company, the Discovery Channel were not returned by the time of publication.
To read Craig's full statement on the Cincinnati Police Department's Facebook page, go to https://www.facebook.com/CincinnatiPolice?ref=ts&fref=ts .
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