Sgt. Tom Jenkins of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department investigates a public disturbance. When the officer attempts to question a hostile male individual, he is forced to physically retrain the man when he does not comply with directives. The intoxicated man curses the officer during questioning and sobs openly when he’s arrested. Meanwhile, a victim/witness describes how the belligerent suspect verbally assaulted an Asian man and several other citizens without cause.
The Spokane Country, WA, Sheriff’s Office must evict a homeless man from occupying a handicapped parking stall at Wal-Mart, but the squatter refuses to leave and things get aggressive. Again in Spokane, officers must respond to complaints that a couple is getting a bit too friendly on a stranger’s front lawn. Finally, officers of the Des Moines, IA, Police Department question a man who allegedly threatened his property manager with a pocket knife
Deputy Kristi Estes of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department is in pursuit a vehicle which has been reported to be traveling up to 100mph on a local freeway. Officer Russ Martin assists in the pursuit by successfully deploying stop sticks in front of the fleeing vehicle the moment he passes by. The pursuit ends when the driver’s deflated tires force him to pull off to the shoulder of the road. With their guns drawn, the officers order the driver to put his hands outside of his window. The unresponsive driver ignores the officers orders. As the officers assess the situation, they discover that the defiant driver’s talking on his cell phone. The officers eventually extricate the driver from the vehicle and later learn that he fled because of a suspended license and three warrants for his arrest.
“Let the chips fall where they may,” he said when some of his staff objected to how risky it might be to have cameras follow Deputy Sheriffs around recording their calls.
That was “Uncle Nick,” which was a nickname I gave him after our first meeting. He was fearless. He had guts. He wasn’t afraid to make a decision, right or wrong, as long as it reflected his beliefs. And “transparency” was one of those beliefs, meaning he welcomed the chance to show his department in action despite the possibility that it might not be a perfect portrait. “We are human beings,” he told me. “If we make mistakes, we need to correct them. If we do our job right, the people should know…”
And millions of people did know, and learn about day to day police work, thanks to Nick Navarro’s guts and his gumption. He was a singular man, a gentleman, and a tough cop. I admired him…and all who knew him will miss his mighty spirit. Uncle Nick was truly one of a kind, and police officers everywhere owe him a little gratitude for letting us all come into their lives and see the humanity behind the badge.
Creator and Executive Producer, COPS