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‘Live PD’ in Hernando County? Commissioners not sure it’s a good idea

Sheriff Al Nienhuis says the cable TV series shows what happens when they go after a fugitive.

BROOKSVILLE — When Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis announced last month that his department would be featured in upcoming episodes of the new cable TV series Live PD: Wanted, he said he thought viewers would be interested.

“I think you’ll enjoy seeing a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes when we go after a fugitive,” Nienhuis said then. “I think you’ll be impressed.”

County commissioners this week had a somewhat different reaction.

"I want to know if there is any money from us to them or them to us,'' said Commissioner Wayne Dukes.

He pointed out that Pasco County, which was featured on the original Live PD series until last March, the show didn’t highlight the best features of the community. Dukes said he worries the same thing will happen in Hernando.

"I think it sucks,'' he said.

"I agree,'' said Commissioner Steve Champion. The show made Pasco look "terrible'' with live shots of crime and drugs, he said.

"Do we want to highlight that for Hernando County?'' he asked.

The new show is a spinoff of the original Live PD. This one features law enforcement officers looking for fugitives who have warrants, said Commissioner Jeff Holcomb, adding that producers will allow the Sheriff’s Office to edit out questionable material, so "hopefully we won’t be seeing the bad side.''

Holcomb said he has been on a warrant search with sheriff’s officials and found it to be “very intimidating,” as deputies walked into what could be dangerous situations.

Dukes said he wished that Nienhuis had approached commissioners first to explain what he was doing.

Live PD: Wanted airs on the A&E network on Thursday nights. The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office has been featured twice on the show, which has ended for the season, according to Sheriff’s spokeswoman Denise Moloney. The department will be back on in the new season, she said.