Police Technical Advisor
To ensure the authenticity of the equipment and protocol being presented on behalf of the Los Angeles Police Department, Police Technical Advisor Chick Daniel was an important presence on the Showtime set. Daniel was especially qualified for the assignment not only for his 25-year service with the
L.A.P.D. (now retired) but for the fact that he also served as occasional technical advisor on the police reality show L.A.P.D.,
Life on the Beat.
To balance the action and reality of depicting a breaking crime with the comedic scenario of the film, Daniel worked closely with director Tom
Dey. Describing a typical interaction, Daniel recalls, "Tom would ask me, 'How would they approach a situation like this? Where would their guns be? How would they hold them?,' and I'd address that and then say 'Where do you want your cameras to be and how can we work into that?' Tom is right on with the questions he asks."
On the subject of authenticity, Daniel is well aware of the practical considerations that prevent something like real police work from being presented in an entertaining fashion to viewers — a subject that Mitch himself covers in the opening scene while addressing a class of school children on career day. "You try to get as real as possible but at the same time it's a film or a TV show and you know that audiences aren't going to want to see police officers spending 10 hours a day doing paperwork," he says. "They want to see chases and shoot- outs."
"Generally speaking," the L.A.P.D. veteran says, "the attitude of officers in the street is that the media is there, and that they're more interested in the story than the reality," a fine distinction. "As illustrated in the film, many times the media will arrive at the same time as the officers or even before, because they are listening to scanners. So then the responding officer has to deal with the issue of freedom of the press versus protecting a crime scene while being stuck in an ongoing live situation. Who is infringing on whom here? These are issues that we all talk about and I think the film addresses them well."
When asked how he felt, personally, seeing Mitch take a shot at a news camera, Daniel confirms what the filmmakers suspected all along. "I think that all of us in law enforcement, at one time or another, would have very much enjoyed doing that," he admits with a smile. "But we'll save that for Robert De
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