MEXICO CITY – The new documentary-style TV series “Cam Alert: Captura Exitosa” (Cam Alert: Successful Arrest) will showcase the technology used by Mexican police officers to tackle street crime and, according to the show’s presenter, help bolster the image of an oft-maligned group of professionals.
“I can’t say there aren’t any bad, corrupt and incompetent police,” Paco Zea said in an interview with EFE, alluding to Mexican cops’ reputation for bribe-taking and active collusion with organized crime. “But this series will show us there are also a lot of police who take their jobs very seriously, who risk their lives for us and who are highly trained.”
The series host said it is important for citizens to change their perception of police because that will help combat crime and insecurity, adding that showing the work of these officers can help launch that trust-building process.
“I think we have to re-ennoble the work of police, realize that these are people who are at the service of citizens, even putting their lives at risk every day,” he said. “And when we see that there are lots of police who make successful arrests, we’re going to (make that connection).”
Filmed at Control, Command, Communication, Computer and Quality Centers (C5s) in the states of Hidalgo, Mexico and Sonora, the series shows viewers the crime-fighting efforts of police and urban surveillance camera operators.
The goal of the series is to provide an all-encompassing look at crime fighting, from the moment an emergency call is placed by an ordinary citizen to the eventual arrest of suspects desperate to elude law enforcement, Zea said.
“Let’s say I’m on the Periferico (outer beltway of Mexico City) and they’ve stolen my car. I call 911 (emergency telephone number), they take my information and they connect me with a video surveillance operator,” Zea said in describing the series’ dynamics.
“At that moment, the operator is already searching the cameras and they start following the robber. Using a GPS system, they see which patrol car is closest and ask him to stop the car and make the arrest.”
All of the stories told in the series end with a “successful arrest,” and great care is taken not to incur any legal problems or jeopardize any judicial proceedings.
“In each of the cases, a successful arrest is made because that’s what it’s all about. As a society, we have the right to that ‘legal vengeance,’ which is for a criminal to be arrested,” Zea said.
A former law student who has forged a career in the Mexican news media, the 49-year-old Zea is known for his work as a radio announcer and television anchor.
With his extensive broadcasting experience, Zea offers a different perspective on the crime show series he hosts.
But he said he had been disconnected from many aspects of law enforcement while inside the TV studio reporting on “sordid” events and that his involvement in “Cam Alert” has given him greater appreciation for police work.
“Normalizing violence must be the worst thing that can happen to us as human beings. When you’re there (in the C5) seeing a woman cry, you see the police, hear a gunshot and the sirens, you realize the danger and the adrenaline they’re feeling,” he said.
Asked about which event has had the biggest impact on him, Zea said he has been most saddened and affected by criminals’ crude indifference to the value of human life.
“What’s most affected me is how little respect criminals have for their own lives, those of police and other citizens. That lack of importance they give to life is something that has me thinking,” he said.
Zea said he will bring a more human aspect to his role as news presenter and communicator following his participation in the series, which will be broadcast by A&E starting Tuesday and feature cases from both before and after the onset of the coronavirus.