ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A popular reality TV show is coming back to Albuquerque.
“Cops” was booted out of the city in 2004, but the show will return for new episodes this spring.
Critics, including the mayor, say the show highlights the city’s crime and scares people away.
Since 1989, the reality TV show “Cops” has been following officers as they take down thugs.
In April, TV crews will be back in Albuquerque to follow Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputies on patrol.
“I think it’s a good thing. It’s an opportunity for deputies to show how very good they are,” said Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson.
Sheriff Dan Houston says he took the TV offer to showcase the high quality of deputies here.
But the show also highlights the metro’s dark side. That’s why in 2004, then-Mayor Martin Chavez told “Cops” they were no longer welcome here.
He said the show made Albuquerque look like a horrible, dangerous place.
“Kicking them out didn’t change the fact that there were problems in the city of Albuquerque and problems with crime in the city. Not telling anyone about something that’s going on doesn’t make it go away,” said Johnson.
But fellow Bernaillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley disagrees, saying “this show highlights the crime in a community because that is the entertainment value. While it may showcase a well-trained law enforcement department in the community, it also showcases and highlights those individuals and organizations involved in crime.”
Mayor R.J. Berry isn’t thrilled either, saying he would have declined any offers from the show.
His office said they’re focused on creating a positive image of Albuquerque as a model place to live and do business.
The sheriff wasn’t available to comment Thursday, so it’s unknown if the show will pay the county to take part.