Saturday, 20 October 2018

DODD: Fifteen minutes of fame

DODD: Fifteen minutes of fame
04 Aug

“I’ve always been famous it’s just that no one knew it yet.”

— Lady Gaga

Fame is such a fleeting thing. I know. I had it this week. The Jeffersonville police officers had it for a season. The city of Jeffersonville for yet another season dating all the way back to the “60 Days In” show. Jeffersonville has been on the map.

Alas, but no longer. As a new season of “Live PD” begins, Jeffersonville will no longer be a part of it.

My moment of fame came this past week when I was on WDRB news after being asked on the street how I felt about the show not being renewed. The questions and my answers were pretty benign. My 20 seconds of television fame had people commenting at work, in the courthouse, and at Olde Towne grocery about my appearance.

Mostly I was glad I didn’t say anything stupid. If you are not used to being interviewed for television it is very easy to say something stupid. I see people way more used to the television cameras than I ever will be say stupid things all the time. I have seen some very prominent careers end as a result of one bad television interview. After my interview aired this week I found myself still gainfully employed.

The reason for the contract for another season not being signed by the city didn’t seem real clear to me. In fact, the entire explanation seemed about as benign as my WDRB interview.

A local attorney sending out subpoenas like early Christmas gifts weren’t acknowledged in any way. In fact, whenever local law enforcement is featured on national television opinions of local attorneys have always been pretty interesting for me in conversation. Attorneys look at most things differently than the rest of us.

I have always had kind of mixed feelings about televising live law enforcement officials on the job. In one way I suspect if I were a local police officer and knew the cameras were rolling, I suspect I would think carefully about every word or action. For routine stops and ensuing actions that would be easy. Then there are those other moments.

You cannot script what will happen during a live police stop. Routine things can go very non-routine in a split second. Police officers sometimes deal with some very unstable people whether we speak in terms of emotional responses and especially in the case of people under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

I always did think it would be just a matter of time before something would occur that would lead to a legal entanglement, i.e., a legal liability situation for the city.

As purely a spectator I was not captivated by the program, but it often runs late at nights when quite honestly I find it the most entertaining thing on TV. I often find myself in a unique position with a rare perspective due to my professional position. In many cases I know the police officers and the people being stopped, questioned, and sometimes arrested as past, present, or future clientele.

For a few of the officers a level of fame had been achieved on an international level. I say international because a good friend of mine posted just this week how friends of his in England had contacted him about watching the Jeffersonville segments. I know some of the officers had fan mail and even though I never asked her personally have been told one female officer got at least one marriage proposal.

Television is a fickle thing. Even the mundane becomes the extraordinary when it is televised. I have had conversations this past week from some angry show fans and from people who thought the show highlighted our community in a negative manner.

In keeping things in proper perspective those who had their 15 minutes of fame probably have a few videotapes to show their grandkids: much unlike me who hasn’t even seen my brief television moment.

But I did kind of get a kick out of a few people commenting about it. We all enjoy a bit of attention every now and then. In keeping with my newspaper column policy of complete disclosure; as of this evening as I am writing this week’s column I have not received a single marriage proposal. I haven’t given up hope yet. Who knows when and if I might go viral!



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