Williamson County considers ending ‘Live PD’ contract

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The Williamson County Commissioners Court is scheduled to discuss ending its contract with Big Fish Entertainment LLC, which produces “Live PD,” according to its Aug. 20 agenda.

Issues arose in April when Commander Steve Deaton was accused of challenging deputies in a meeting to have sex with a female “Live PD” producer. Deaton was also accused of making light of date rape and the mutilation of a black man on Facebook.

During an Aug. 13 regular meeting, many members of the Williamson County community spoke during public comment, asking for the immediate firing of Deaton as well as the resignation of Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody and County Judge Bill Gravell for lack of oversight, immediate condemnation of Deaton’s action and for Gravell’s liking of an inappropriate Facebook posts by Deaton.

Gravell addressed those comments during an Aug. 15 budget meeting saying he would not resign but apologized.

“I want to make this unequivocally clear: I liked a social media post that was inappropriate, and I made a mistake because I didn’t look at the whole image,” Gravell said. “But regardless of the request of a few citizens, I’m not resigning from public office.”

Gravell added that the commissioners have no authority to make decisions for the firing of the sheriff’s employees.

During that meeting, the court unanimously approved adding $5,000 to the budget for Respectful Workplace Training—also known as sensitivity training—for all county employees.

“What Commander Deaton said about the ‘Live PD’ producer was wrong; it was inappropriate; and it was immoral,” Gravell said.

Gravell called for Deaton to resign, adding that he is an “embarrassment” to Williamson County.

“Live PD” is a documentary series on the A&E Network that follows law-enforcement officers live in the course of their nighttime patrols. Williamson County has been on “Live PD” for three seasons.

The county agreed to extend its contract with a 3-2 vote during a May 21 regular meeting.

During the May 21 meeting, Chody and Gravell championed for keeping the show, saying it promoted the work of the deputies as well as improved transparency and community relations.

 

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  1. Edgar Einarsson

    Live PD is all about Chody seeking glory for himself and his department. Let’s focus on actually doing our jobs, and Chody, Gravell, and Deaton need to go for thinking these are still the 50’s where it’s perfectly fine (even expected) to be racist.

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Ali Linan
Ali Linan began covering Georgetown for Community Impact Newspaper in 2018. Her reporting focuses on education and Williamson County. Ali hails from El Paso and graduated from Syracuse University in 2017.
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