First Responders Live

Sgt. Shawn James is among the Charleston County Sheriff's Office deputies featured on FOX's "First Responders Live." Charleston County Sheriff's Office/Provided

On any given day, Charleston County sheriff's deputies such as Sgt. Shawn James head toward danger. 

Shootings, crashes, pursuits, even serving a search warrant can pose risks caused by numerous unknowns and hazardous conditions. It's those moments and more that are being captured by a new television show on FOX called "First Responders Live."

Deputies like James say the program is not only a true account of the lives of law enforcement officers and other first responders but also helps them connect with the communities they serve. 

"It's awesome to put a positive light on the Sheriff's Office and of course, law enforcement in general," he said. "I was in civilian clothes the other day and there were people asking to take their picture with me. It makes you feel good. They're able to humanize you instead of ... you're a cop 24/7."

Capt. Roger Antonio, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office, said FOX's program dovetails with the agency's ongoing public outreach and social media efforts, particularly because "First Responders Live" features profiles on the deputies that take part in the show. 

"A segment of the show, every (episode), will do what they call a 'hero profile' on some of the first responders," Antonio said. "We want people to see, not just the stuff you see on the news where the cops are catching the bad guys or rescuing people. We want people to see behind the scenes, what these guys are like, on or off duty." 

In the beginning, however, not all deputies were on board with participating, the spokesman said. Some worried about the presence of crews and their cameras. 

Those perceptions have changed, Antonio said. 

"A lot of them have seen how welcoming the film crews are and how much the film crews have not been interfering with them being able to do their jobs," he said. 

One of those deputies is Sgt. Philip Moniz.

"I wasn't super excited to have them with me, (but) once we started riding, it was a lot different than I thought it was going to be," Moniz said. "After about 10 or 15 minutes of actually talking to the producers and the camera men, next thing you know, it's like a partner riding with you."

The deputy said what's shown on the program is fair and he believes it helps the public better understand what law enforcement and other first responders do an a daily basis. 

"What you're seeing on that show is a true account," Moniz said.  

After the show's first season ends on Sept. 10, the Sheriff's Office will wait and see if it gets renewed, and if it does, they hope to participate again, Antonio said. 

James agreed.

"I think this put the Charleston County Sheriff's Office on the map throughout the country and we're extremely proud of that," he said.  

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Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.