First Impressions

Police Women of Memphis

Aired on: TLC

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            I donít watch a great many reality television series involving police.  Iíve been known to watch an episode of COPS or two, but thatís about all.  So, when TLC began running a reality series featuring police women, I barely paid attentionÖthat is until I saw the one police women brandishing pink handcuffs and scoffed.  See, I have friends on the force and they would never be caught dead using a pink set of handcuffs on a perp.  I decided that this reality television series was not for me and passed right on by until this past Thursday when I was flipping channels, trying to find something decent on the airwaves to watch.  Lo and behold, I came across Police Women of Memphis and after watching for five minutes, I was hooked.

            The third season installment of the TLC Police Women series, Police Women of Memphis focuses on four female police officers working in various parts of Memphis, Tennessee.  Officers Aubrey Olson, Arica Logan, Joy Jefferson and Virginia Awkward offer us intriguing glimpses into their personal and professional lives as they do their best to keep the streets of the city they call home clean.  While patrolling their assigned areas, each of the officers reveal why they got into law enforcement, their backgrounds before joining the force and what they expect to find while they are patrolling each area.  Special segments in each episode take us into the officersí home lives, showing us the other side of each officer - the one that is not acting as a soldier in a war on the streets.

            What attracted me to this particular season of the TLC series is that these officers seem the most ďrealĒ.  These women are most like the police women I know.  They donít dress things up for the camera and they definitely take their jobs seriously.  These are not pink handcuff toting, ďoh please come back hereĒ kind of officers.  These are hard-hitting, "you run Iíll chase you down" chicks.  These girls arenít afraid to get right in there and mix it up and they sure arenít afraid of taking control of the situation.

            My favorites are Joy Jefferson and Virginia Awkward who had me laughing uncontrollably at their honest reactions to various situations.  In one of the episodes I watched, two partying individuals were lying naked in the bedroom of a friendís apartment.  The friend wasnít home and the apartment manager had filed a complaint that the male had run outside and attempted to enter her car.  When the male did not initially comply with Officers Jeffersonís request to keep his hand above the covers, Officer Jefferson threatened to pull the covers right off of the man and embarrass him.  She later explained to him that she was simply ensuring officer safety, but at that moment, her reactions were hysterical.

            I loved the fact that these women are patrolling the very streets they grew up in.  One officer put it best when she explained that, as a kid, the police traveling through her neighborhood were a cause for fear.  She wants the people on her beat to realize that she was there to serve and protect them and so she makes that fact abundantly clear to them by stopping her patrol car and offering a kind word to the various people she passes by as she patrols her area.

            While I know that some of the situations the officers may find themselves in may be handled in such a way to add dramatic flare (as one COPS participant once told me was done in his case), I found Police Women of Memphis to be a rather accurate portrayal of life on the streets for police women on patrol.  This is one of the more realistic reality shows out there and I canít wait to watch the next episode of Police Women of Memphis this Thursday at 9PM EST.


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