LAPD’s Hollywood Office: How The Department Shaped ABC’s ‘The Rookie’

Screen shot of Tom Secker's video essay on ABC's "The Rookie" and the Los Angeles Police Department's influence on Hollywood

Through this video essay, Tom Secker examines the Los Angeles Police Department’s Entertainment Trademark Unit, which deals with Hollywood.

Secker, host of “Spy Culture,” focuses on ABC’s “The Rookie,” a television show that he says “dilutes and trivializes sexism and racism in the LAPD, police brutality, and excessive force, violation of civil rights, predictive policing and rogue cops and LAPD corruption, including the Rampart scandal.”

He highlights how the LAPD has used the show to boost recruitment and how Nathan Fillion, who plays the show’s main character, has admitted much of the drama is propaganda.

Secker has obtained hundreds of pages of documents detailing how LAPD’s Hollywood unit operates.

As Secker notes, “Police documents show that they worked on season 1 of ‘The Rookie’ and signed a location agreement allowing the producers to film at police headquarters.”

Fillion’s character is based on a man named Bill Norcross, who works for the LAPD. Not only has he trained the cast but conversations with Norcross inspired early drafts of the script. And Norcross “now serves as a script consultant on ‘The Rookie,’ an on-set technical advisor, and is a credited executive producer on the series,” according to Secker.

Watch Tom Secker’s video essay by clicking the above player or going here.

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