Here is proof from the official COPS Facebook page:

And our twitter:!/CopsTV

If you guys are fans of the show and want to see more new episodes, sign the petition to let Fox know:

Edit* 7pm EST - Had to go eat some food, but I will try to get some more questions here shortly. -Carfly

Comments: 1423 • Responses: 56  • Date: 

sulkorp489 karma

I'm a camera assist, so I'm just curious about technical things and logistics.

-What's your current camera setup?

-I'm assuming sound probably records to a 788, and just sends a guide track?

-Are the cops lav'd and sound just booms the rest?

-One of the camera ops I work with was on a similiar show, Campus PD, where they rode in the passenger seat of the cop car and had a chase production van following at all times. Is that the same setup?

-How many discs/tapes do you go through in a night?

Thanks so much!

CopsCarflyAndChambo97 karma

One camera, one sound & sometimes two cops. There are no on scene field producers or any chase van. How much footage depends upon how busy the night is. Slow night is obvious less, but a busy night yields more. Carfly

BattleHall11 karma

What kind of camera rig do you use? Have you switched to something smaller and lighter over the years, like a video-rigged 5D?

CopsCarflyAndChambo17 karma

We don't use the 5D. We use the Sony XD f-355. Carfly

videonerd23 karma

Yes. Answer this. What cameras/system do you use? DVCProHD? XDCam? etc? How heavy (lbs) is your setup?

CopsCarflyAndChambo14 karma

We use XD and weight 25-30 pounds. Carfly

BillyJackO344 karma

I miss the early 90's cops. Can you encourage the police officers to grow their mullets and mustaches back and go back to the baton vs the taser?

CopsCarflyAndChambo293 karma

@BillyJackO Just be patient on the hair styles, as history usually repeats itself. I don't think the technology of police tools will go backwards, as that stuff tends to go forward. Carfly

mickcube316 karma

how do you get the perpetrators to sign a release?

CopsCarflyAndChambo384 karma

Ask. -Chambo

poptart2nd241 karma

do they get any compensation for agreeing to a press release? legal help, waived court fees, etc?

CopsCarflyAndChambo325 karma

Nope. -Chambo

redditor_11258 karma

so what's their incentive to signing a release? to be on TV....butt naked and handcuffed?

CopsCarflyAndChambo518 karma

@redditor_11 Most people are good people, and sometimes they do bad things. Some tell me their incentive is for educational purpose, so others may not repeat their actions. Carfly

CopsCarflyAndChambo211 karma

Street cred? I have no idea, but people do it. -Chambo

maccabeus82 karma

are the majority of people receptive to this, or do you have to film a lot of calls before you get a suspect willing to be featured?

CopsCarflyAndChambo248 karma

You'd be surprised by how many people want their 15 mins. -Chambo

bikiniduck120 karma

If they dont sign the release, all it means is that they have to blur the face instead of showing it in the clear.

CopsCarflyAndChambo214 karma

True, but how many blurred faces do you see on the newer episodes? -Chambo

tdave36545 karma

What is the ratio of those who agree? How many incidents do you have to tape to get one agreement?

CopsCarflyAndChambo72 karma

@tdave365 I'd say 80% of people agree, but there are always some who don't. Carfly

CopsCarflyAndChambo82 karma

@mickcube I simply ask. Carfly

alsoodani242 karma

  • What do you think of the show "RENO 911"? Did they ever consult you for scenes?

  • Were there any clips that never made it to TV due to censorship? What were they?

  • Have you completely memorized the Bad Boys song?

  • Have you hung out with a crooked cop? What was it that made him crooked?

  • Is there anything else you would like to do besides filming COPS?

B_Master151 karma

What do you think of the show "RENO 911"? Did they ever consult you for scenes?

My dad was a cop and thought Reno 911 was the best cop show ever.

CopsCarflyAndChambo170 karma

@alsodani & @B_Master I love "RENO 911!" As far as I know, they never consulted our show for scenes. I'm sure those comedy writers and actors are fans of the "COPS" show. It's a family show, and some things are too much for the kids to see or hear on Fox. I have not completely memorized the "Bad Boys" song, but people sing it to us all of the time. I've never met or hung out with a "crooked" cop. Carfly

MrSm1lez203 karma

What is the absolute craziest thing you've ever encountered or been involved in?

CopsCarflyAndChambo368 karma

@MrSm1lez I followed some homicide detectives with Las Vegas Metro on a missing persons case that turned into an unsolved homicide. That case was tragic, and stayed with me for quite some time. Something people forget is that the we, as well as the officers, are also human and are affected at the end of the day. Carfly

altmuzac17 karma

I'm curious if you happen to know which episode that is?

CopsCarflyAndChambo21 karma

It never aired. Carfly

throwaway201021182 karma

what happens when things go south like they get into a shootout and one of them dies? do you keep filming?

CopsCarflyAndChambo234 karma

That's tough to say, that would really depend on a lot of things. I guess we'll cross that bridge if we ever come to it. -Chambo

whitehat2k952 karma

Really? You've never been in a shootout with fatalities before? I dunno, it just seems after all these seasons of COPS.

CopsCarflyAndChambo117 karma

@whitehat2k9 I've been in plenty of standoffs, but they have always ended peacefully. We are not the only two cameramen to have ever filmed the show, and there have been times COPS crews were there. Most of those can be seen on the "Shots Fired" DVD, but I can tell you after nine years of filming... it happens less than you think. Carfly

[deleted]134 karma

Have you ever had to help an officer/ defend yourselves?

CopsCarflyAndChambo211 karma

@Yaloid Yes, I have helped an officer get someone into custody before. I haven't had to defend myself on the show, but have defended the officer from people coming to his back. These things happen less than you would imagine, but they do happen sometimes. Our primary job is to tell the story. We are television people, and not police officers.

luckynumberorange120 karma

How much does it suck to run after people with a camera, and have you ever found someone who was hiding?

CopsCarflyAndChambo257 karma

@luckynumberorange It sucks big time to run after people with a camera, but I love the way it looks. Jumping fences are no fun at all, and I personally have not found the person hiding alone. I once asked the guys to check out a boat after they had looked everywhere else, and that is where the suspect was hiding. Carfly

CopsCarflyAndChambo130 karma

Depends on how far we have to run!

luckynumberorange92 karma

Do you ever practice running and maintaining a good camera angle? Because you do a very good job

CopsCarflyAndChambo158 karma

Thanks! I try to at least hit the treadmill in the hotel, but I've been slacking recently. -Chambo

CopsCarflyAndChambo76 karma

@luckynumberorange I practice on the job every chance I get. Handheld camera work is my favorite! Carfly



  • Why are there some perpetrators that have their faces blurred out, while others are not?

  • Do you have to get permission to show their faces?

  • Has COPS ever put up bail for anyone?

  • Do any of the officers try to show off or act different once the cameras are on?

  • What's most crime-ridden city you've shot in?

Thank you!

CopsCarflyAndChambo117 karma

Everyone seen on tv signs a release. COPS has never put up bail and does not pay people to be on the show. I think most officers are nervous when we first ride with them, if anything, they are more reserved when we 're with them. We were just in New Orleans, murder capital of the country last year... -Chambo

funkgerm36 karma

If the people that are on the show do not get compensated in any way, why on earth would they allow themselves to be publicly embarrassed on national television?

CopsCarflyAndChambo69 karma

@funkgerm Most people want to tell their story, and want their story to be heard. Carfly

IWasOnCopsOnce89 karma

I need to ask 0 questions. Also, what's up guys? It's been a while!

CopsCarflyAndChambo49 karma

@IWasOnCopsOnce Hello, that was funny... and did one of us ride with you? Carfly

angrymarie88 karma

Have you had to testify in court for anything you've witnessed while shooting?

CopsCarflyAndChambo125 karma

@angrymarie I have never had to testify in court regarding anything I've witnessed while shooting the show. I once submitted a deposition regarding that chase in Jacksonville, FL I just mentioned in the previous question. That was necessary because my soundman and I picked out the suspect in a mug shot line up. There have been some other cameramen testify, and as I recall it was involving an arson/homicide where the suspect admitted to the crime on COPS camera and audio. I remember the story took place in the woods in the northwest part of the country. Carfly

CopsCarflyAndChambo97 karma

I have not. -Chambo

Lone_Wolf85 karma

It seems to me that more of the shows come from a small group of cities rather than the diversity of cities I recall from back in the "old days" when the show began. Is this right?

How are the cities chosen?

CopsCarflyAndChambo106 karma

@Lone_Wolf Cities chosen for filming are by invitation, and we ask there be enough activity for our crews to stay busy. Of course some cities and the show have already established good working relationships, and it's not a surprise to see some more frequency. Since the format of the show is now "Coast to Coast" our crews are spread out to more cities and more thinly. We can't capture everything out there, and we can't be everywhere. Carfly

ShadowPhaxx84 karma

What situation from your COPS career do you remember most vividly?

CopsCarflyAndChambo141 karma

@ShadowPhaxx Jacksonville, FL our officer Tom Hemsley went over a 40ft. wall after a vehicle pursuit, and was knocked unconscious. Norwood, OH officer Eric Nelson and his Norwood Police partners took me in what I titled "Tazed & Confused." This season, officer Ben Lord chased a '92 camaro that burst into flames... and the driver and passenger ejected and survived. Carfly

marleythemoose49 karma

I think I saw that episode. A Crash, An Arrest & A Baby?

CopsCarflyAndChambo76 karma

@marleythemoose That's the one in Springfield, MO I speak of. You were lucky to see that one on the west coast, but unfortunately the rest of America was preempted that weekend by NFL overtime. Watch for it in the summer re-runs on Fox. Carfly

bikiniduck69 karma

Why do you never show anyone getting away? I'm sure that not every single suspect is caught.

CopsCarflyAndChambo135 karma

Yes, people do get away. We shoot a lot of video, if we don't have a complete story, it won't make air. If a bad guy gets away and we don't air it, it's not because of the fact that he got away, we probably don't have enough for a complete story.

swifteh60 karma

I've seen a couple episodes where a unit's in pursuit of a car, and the driver suddenly bails and gets away. They set up a perimeter and all, but they never actually show them catching the criminal.

CopsCarflyAndChambo83 karma

Yup, it happens. -Chambo

CopsCarflyAndChambo81 karma

@swifteh The pursuit I filmed in Jacksonville, FL was the only one I have ever worked that showed the suspect get away. Our focus turned to the injured officer we were riding with, and thankfully he was okay. That suspect was caught within two weeks after we left that city. Carfly

SlugJunior68 karma

Are there any clips that are too suggestive for tv? Have y'all ever been assaulted or threatened by an arrestee? What about accidentally hit by a cop, or maybe caught downwind of their pepper spray? What are the cops like, and do they change on and off camera? Finally, please tell us your favorite story, your funniest story, and your most frightening. (they might be different). Thank you for this AMA, it has a ton of potential

CopsCarflyAndChambo91 karma

Yes, we shoot a lot of stuff that we can't air. Never been assaulted, but have been threatened. I had a cop accidentally break my viewfinder. Never peppersprayed. Cops are regular people, nervous at first, but warm up to us and the camera. As far as funnest, favorite, scariest... too hard to say. Thanks for watching! -Chambo

garbonzo60 karma

How come it always seems like the cameramen are faster than the cops? You guys must have to stay in top physical shape.

CopsCarflyAndChambo74 karma

@garbonzo I consider the work to be my workout, and I try to play basketball whenever possible. Carfly

Geaux54 karma

How often does the perpetrator's demeanor change when they realize they're going to be on TV?

CopsCarflyAndChambo81 karma

@Geaux It usually changes when they are placed into handcuffs, and you usually get a look at that expression change on the show. You may notice that is an important shot we always try to get as camera operators.

wingmasterjon49 karma

Do the cops take different actions to accomadate having a camera crew following them around? Any situations where you had to stop filming?

CopsCarflyAndChambo74 karma

@wingmasterjon I guess making room for us in their car is different, but they go out and do the same job everyday whether we are with them or not. I never film lunch, because we have to eat also!

CopsCarflyAndChambo56 karma


Arberitaville45 karma

Is there anywhere to view un-edited footage from the show?

CopsCarflyAndChambo91 karma

No place to view unedited footage except for the editing positions at Langley Productions. - Carfly

shitwealldo41 karma

Have you ever been shot?

CopsCarflyAndChambo112 karma

@shitwealldo No I have never been shot, now excuse me while I knock on wood. Our crews wear the same ballistic protection the officers wear, because the people the officers deal with in America play with real bullets.

robbykooch40 karma

What was the most uncomfortable situation you've ever been in while shooting the show?

CopsCarflyAndChambo70 karma

Honestly, a lot of it can be uncomfortable at times. You are recording the worst part of people's lives at times, (victims). -Chambo

aertime35 karma

What was your scariest moment on the job?

CopsCarflyAndChambo57 karma

@aertime Scariest moments on the job are when an officer gets hurt in a crash or shots fired situations. Carfly

[deleted]30 karma

Do you carry arms (guns or other kinds of weapons) at work, just in case something goes wrong?

CopsCarflyAndChambo49 karma

@EpicRandomUsername Our crews are unarmed. We have enough equipment and tools just for the tv production. I do keep a pocket knife handy for cutting seatbelts. Carfly

swifteh29 karma

What would you say is the funniest moment you've caught on tape? I still lol when I think about the lady who brought a rock of crack to a couple of cops at a gas station, in order to "bust the crackhouse."

Guess who went to jail instead. (:

CopsCarflyAndChambo38 karma

@swifteh My funniest moments caught on tape never made the show. I'm hoping for another Cops2Hot4TV DVD! I remember one funny one where a man wanted to "keaster" some tobacco to take inside the jail. Carfly

Bret1627 karma

How did you get in on the job? And how long have you been cameramen?

CopsCarflyAndChambo44 karma

I knew one of the camera guys from a previous job. I've been shooting video professionally for about 8 years. -Chambo

Renegade_Journo18 karma

Were you guys recently (last summer) in Springfield, mo? I knew cops was filming in town and ran across them here but was wondering if it was you two?

CopsCarflyAndChambo25 karma

@Renegade_Journo We had two crews in Springfield, MO last summer. I worked the West side, and our other crew worked Central. You can check out our FB pages and see who you recognize. Carfly

CopsCarflyAndChambo33 karma

@Bret16 I got lucky and met a former cameraman while working a sports shoot. One year later, he pitched my name and I've thanked him time after time. I've also passed on this opportunity to others whom seem a good fit for this work. I have been a camera operator since 1998. Carfly

iggy4mayor27 karma

Have you ever helped stop a criminal before?

CopsCarflyAndChambo37 karma

Yes. -Chambo

geenaleigh27 karma

Have you ever been attacked while attempting to film? These people seem to focus on the cops more than you, and you seem very distant and protected, but have they ever turned on the cameras and on you?

CopsCarflyAndChambo42 karma

I have not been attacked. I think we're usually the last thing on the bad guys mind if they're trying to get away from the cops. -Chambo

curtbag23 karma

Is there a time where you have feared for your lives? What were some dangerous situations you have found yourselves in?

CopsCarflyAndChambo71 karma

Yes, driving with some of the officers. Haha. -Chambo

[deleted]21 karma

I was in Vegas and saw a traffic stop on the strip involving a single patrol car and a black suburban on Aug 31st. After the officer got out, a camera crew jumped out and began filming. Was that you?

CopsCarflyAndChambo42 karma

Not me. Probably the show Vegas Strip. -Chambo

fartdoctor20 karma

What was your favorite city to film in?

CopsCarflyAndChambo32 karma

Not sure if I have a favorite, but we just left New Orleans, which was a pretty cool city. -Chambo

CopsCarflyAndChambo32 karma

@fartdoctor I love to film in North Las Vegas,NV & Springfield,MO and I got to film both this past season. There are many others I have loved over the years, and those two treated us like we were family. Carfly

timidpigeon25 karma

I'm from Springfield, MO. Word of your coming spread fairly quickly. Glad you enjoyed the area!

CopsCarflyAndChambo17 karma

@timidpigeon Thanks, and I look forward to returning there someday. That is a great city! Carfly

robotzombie15 karma

Were either of you the one filming when the perp jumped off the side of the freeway/overpass and the cop followed suit. Both men lost consciousness from the fall and the perp came to first, hopped the fence, and ran away diagonally across an adjacent empty lot?

CopsCarflyAndChambo23 karma

@robotzombie Yes I filmed that segment in Jacksonville, FL.

imwearingatowel8 karma

After the officer fell, was it you that that yelled "Stop!" (or something, it's been a while since I saw that episode) or was there someone else there?

(Do you remember what Season/Episode this was? I'd like to re-watch that.)

CopsCarflyAndChambo9 karma

Yes that was the crew yelling at him. I think that was season 17, but I can't remember the episode number. Carfly