Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office tells its own stories in 'Beyond the Badge'
The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office is taking the public “Beyond the Badge” in a new web-based show premiering Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on its website.
The goal is to expose the public to the men and women of the sheriff’s office, from deputies on the road to community corrections officers at the jail, said Derrick Jackson, the department’s Director of Community Engagement.
“It’s about the people who do the job,” he said.
Jackson said when he came into the department as a civilian - he’s now also a police officer - he heard a story about a deputy who was called to help a drowning 2-year-old who subsequently died. Right after that call, the deputy had to immediately go on a call to investigate a home invasion.
Jackson said he found the story remarkable and wanted to share stories like it with the public. Officials thought a web-TV show would be a great way to do it.
Unlike the popular, long-running television show, “Cops,” which focuses on criminals and crimes, “Beyond the Badge” will focus less on the salacious and more on the service of the department’s employees.
“We have been trying to figure out a way to share the stories of the people who do the job,” Jackson said.
A “unique” partnership was struck with the LaFontaine Automotive Group and talks began about five months ago with filming taking place over the past three to four weeks, Jackson said.
LaFontaine is footing the entire bill for the web series. Jackson wasn’t sure what that cost was. A call to LaFontaine Friday was not immediately returned.
Jackson said the partnership is just one more example of how the sheriff’s office is getting together with private businesses in the community.
“This isn’t the only one,” Jackson said, adding that it is the most high profile, though.
Numerous businesses have donated to an Ypsilanti Township bike patrol over the years, said Jackson, including Sesi, Round Haus Pizza, White Hayes Passino, Aubree’s Pizza, Woodards American Auto Parts, Budget/Stadium Towing, Ypsilanti Import Auto Sales, Eric Investments, Target II Party Store, Bobby Smiths Corvette Shop and Coaches.
The yearly Shop with a Cop event and Community Engagement Golf outing are also sponsored by local businesses, Jackson said.
There is already one snippet that appears on the website, www.http://beyondthebadge.tv/, which includes a greeting from Sheriff Jerry Clayton.