Live PD lives! Sort of!
Two years after the A&E reality series was canceled in the wake of nationwide protests against police brutality and racism, host and producer Dan Abrams announced that the Live PD team is getting back together for a new show, tentatively titled On Patrol: Live. The series will air Fridays and Saturday nights on the Reelz Network, beginning this summer.
"I want to say thank you to the Live PD Nation. I know this wait was long, but we needed the right platform to make this show what it should be," said Abrams during the Wednesday night broadcast of Dan Abrams Live on NewsNation. "You never gave up the faith and neither did I."
On Patrol: Live will reunite Abrams with his Live PD cohost, Sgt. Sean "Sticks" Larkin, as well former Live PD exec producer John Zito. Curtis Wilson, Deputy Sheriff in South Carolina's Richland County Sheriff's Department, is joining as the third cohost. (Crime reporter Tom Morris Jr., who cohosted Live PD during the entirety of its run, is not returning.)
Live PD premiered on A&E in 2016, and was frequently the No. 1 cable show on Friday and Saturday nights. The series featured police officers from cities across the country — including Richland County, S.C., El Paso, Texas, Lawrence, Ind., and Salinas, Calif. — as they patrolled their beats with camera crews in tow. Unlike Fox's Cops, which focused on sensational aspects of policing like car chases and foot pursuits, Live PD often featured the mundane, workaday interactions police officers have on the beat, like dealing with a domestic dust-up over a clogged toilet or a loud dispute over a hotel bill.
Abrams said On Patrol: Live will not be "the same exact show." In addition to the host change, Reelz announced that the new series will attempt to "promote transparency" and "engage the community" by featuring "Citizen Ride-Alongs" which will "give local residents, within the communities of the departments appearing on the show, a first-hand perspective as they ride along with officers followed by On Patrol: Live cameras on live nights."
Prior to being canceled in 2020, Live PD was criticized for destroying footage of Javier Ambler, a 40-year-old Austin resident, dying while in police custody in 2019. When the Austin American-Statesman broke the news of the footage in 2020, A&E issued a statement defending the show's actions: "Immediately after the incident, the Austin Police Department conducted an investigation using the body cam footage they had from the officers. Contrary to many incorrect reports, neither A&E nor the producers of Live PD were asked for the footage or an interview by investigators from law enforcement or the District Attorney's office. As is the case with all footage taken by Live PD producers, we no longer retained the unaired footage after learning that the investigation had concluded."