Sergeant Sean “Sticks” Larkin with the Tulsa Police Department’s gang unit wants people to know that, despite hot-button events across the nation, police officers care.

“Officers are just regular men and women that chose to go into law enforcement,” he says. “We have the same problems at home and in our personal lives that everyone else has. Sometimes people have this perception that we are robots and don’t care about what someone is dealing with or going through, and that’s just false.”

To provide insight into law enforcement’s successes and struggles, Larkin serves as an analyst on the A&E network’s LivePD, which airs Fridays and Saturdays. During the program, a crew follows various police units and broadcasts live as officers respond to calls and perform stops.

“The goal of LivePD is to show an unfiltered look at law enforcement across the country,” he says. “The news typically only shows a few seconds of an event that law enforcement was involved in. This show gives the viewers the full story on the various calls that the officers are dealing with on the show.

“I was extremely excited that the Tulsa Police Department was a part of it. Policing was – and still is – a hot topic in the media. I know that despite what was being reported about policing across the country, our agency was very good, with well-trained officers.”

The opportunity to participate in LivePD came as a surprise.

“It’s totally a fluke,” he says. “It has actually been seven to eight years in the making. The LivePD production company, Big Fish Entertainment, approached the Tulsa Police Department several years back about doing a show featuring the gang unit. A crew came to Tulsa and produced a pilot in hopes of getting a contract with a network. The pilot had a ton of action and great police work, but none of the networks picked it up because there were already similar types of police shows on television. Even though the show never went anywhere, a couple of the people from Big Fish and I periodically kept in touch with each other through the years.

“Fast-forward to the summer of 2016. Big Fish reached out to me and said that they were going to do a live television show that showed police work across the country. This was a first of its kind … because of new technology. LivePD hit the air in October 2016 and the Tulsa Police Department was one of the original six agencies on the show. When LivePD was in Tulsa, they rode with our gang unit, and I was one of the officers that the crew rode with.”

After the contract with the Tulsa Police Department ended, LivePD’s producers invited Larkin back to be an analyst. He works from New York City with the other analyst, Dan Abrams, and host Tom Morris Jr.

“I give explanations on what officers are doing, why they are doing it, as well as policies and procedures and law,” he says.

The show has allowed Larkin to form a bond with his TV colleagues.

“Dan Abrams and Tom Morris Jr. have turned into genuine friends,” he says. “The connection between the three of us on air is real. We all hang out with each other off the air as time allows there in NYC.”

Larkin was recently offered his own A&E show. LivePD Presents: PD Cam premiered in July and returned to the air in November. Rather than being live, the show presents footage from police dashboard cameras, body cameras and helicopters. Larkin comments throughout the footage.

PD Cam basically shows events that are more intense for officers,” he says. “At the end of each show, I have an in-studio interview with one of the officers whose footage was shown. The interviews allow the officer to explain … what was going on at the time. Some of the interviews get very emotional.”

Larkin has been with the Tulsa Police Department for 22 years. His parents served for decades in the military, and Larkin knew from the time he was a teenager that he wanted to be a police officer. He acknowledges that everyone has an opinion about police work.

“Outside of politics, there is not another profession that people think they know how something is to be handled,” he says. “It’s a daily occurrence for an officer to deal with someone telling them how they should do their job, what the law is and so forth.”

Larkin wants LivePD and PD Cam to help people intimately understand law enforcement and the challenges officers encounter.

He enjoys direct interaction with viewers. Larkin tweets throughout the show with the hashtag #LivePD. Viewers can follow him on both Twitter and Instagram at
@sean_c_larkin.

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