Street Patrol

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Street Patrol TV Poster Image
Another police docu that's too violent for kids.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Stereotypical images suggest that criminals are usually poor, uneducated, and minorities. The officers sometimes seem to be playing to the cameras. Most suspects are male. Featured police officers are both male and female; most are Caucasian, although there are African-American and Latino officers visible.

Violence

Features lots of domestic disputes, car chases, and other criminal activity.

Sex

A few suspects are alleged prostitutes. Occasionally suspects are lacking clothes, but private parts are blurred.

Language

Plenty of strong language, ranging from words like "hell" and "damn" to bleeped-out uses of "s--t" and "f--k."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many suspects are wanted for drug-related crimes or are known drug users. Illegal drugs (speed, marijuana, cocaine) are prominently visible. Some suspects are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol when they're arrested.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality series isn't intended for kids. It has lots of violent scenes (car chases, bloody murder victims, domestic disputes), as well as images of weapons and drugs. Police are often shown using force and holding suspects at gunpoint, while suspects are sometimes shown cursing (the strongest words are bleeped) and/or fighting back. The series presents some stereotypical images of criminal suspects, sending a distorted message about how criminals are "supposed" to look.

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Teen, 13 years old Written bypopbottles April 9, 2008

What's the story?

STREET PATROL, which is produced by the creators of Cops, is a reality series that follows patrol officers across the country as they keep the streets safe. Cameras film them attending warrant briefings, investigating domestic disturbances, participating in car chases, and making arrests. Officers offer simplified explanations of what they're doing, as well as what techniques they use to catch suspects.

Is it any good?

The police officers featured in this series are risking their lives to keep the streets safe, but they often seem to be playing to the cameras when arrests are made. Meanwhile, like many other police shows, Street Patrol offers a somewhat stereotypical view of those who allegedly engage in criminal activity, consistently showing suspects who appear to be poor, seemingly uneducated, and/or a member of a minority group.

Adding to this are the violent, graphic images of suspects being held at gunpoint, various illegal drugs, and murder victims with visible bloody wounds. Angry suspects, many of whom are clearly under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, spew profanity at the officers. While some older teens and adults may find these events entertaining, it's not an age-appropriate choice for younger viewers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how law enforcement is portrayed in the media. Do you think police officers' days are as exciting or dangerous as they appear on shows like this? Do these shows make you feel safer or more vulnerable to violent crime? Families can also discuss how the media can present stereotypical images of people. Why do the majority of suspects on police shows appear to be from lower income areas or people of color? What kind of message does this send to viewers?

TV details

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