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Sullivan Sheriff's Office gets $35,000 check for part in cable TV show

July 17th, 2014 10:14 pm by J. H. Osborne

Sullivan Sheriff's Office gets $35,000 check for part in cable TV show


BLOUNTVILLE — The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office has received $35,000 as payment for participating earlier this year in filming for a cable television show.

Sheriff Wayne Anderson signed a contract last fall with California-based Electus LLC, that set the sheriff's office's compensation at $5,000 for each episode of the show in which SCSO is featured.

The Sullivan County Commission is expected to vote Monday to authorize the sheriff's office to cash a $35,000 check from Electus, as payment for SCSO being featured in seven episodes of "Southern Justice."

That series is broadcast by the National Geographic Channel.

A special preview episode, titled "Bath Salts and Battery," aired in April and the show's producers at that time indicated the series would officially launch this fall.

"Southern Justice" chronicles the efforts at both the SCSO and Ashe County, N.C., Sheriff's Office.

In April, Executive Producer Jim Lindsay said "Southern Justice" is filmed by experienced documentary filmmakers, capturing stories from the initial emergency call, through the investigation phases, and wrapping up in the courtroom.

Anderson made public his department's participation in the show in February, saying then that filming had begun in December of last year and was just about to wrap up.

A confidentiality agreement in the contract had limited the sheriff and SCSO employees from saying much about the filming before his February announcement, Anderson said.

The SCSO didn't seek out being a part of the program but was approached by the show's creators last summer after they researched viable agencies in the Southeast to feature, Anderson said.

"I'm tickled to death about it," Anderson said of the department being chosen from the 3,500 sheriff's offices in the nation.

"They wanted to come in and do a documentary on our sheriff's department," Anderson said. "They had done about a year's work on deciding who they were going to pick. We didn't know they were doing any research on us until they called us and told us about it."

Anderson said he thinks the show will help economic development and showcase the region's natural beauty.

"I've been assured over and over that it will put a positive spotlight on Sullivan County," Anderson said. "I'm very excited about it."

And the show also will give local residents a better insight into how the sheriff's office works, Anderson said.

"It will give the community a chance to see how our officers work, and how good they really do," Anderson said. "It shows that we have a lot of passion about our programs. It will show the world the advantages and opportunities of Sullivan County. I am proud of it. I think it's going to be good for our county."

Anderson said he and other SCSO employees were not personally compensated for taking part in the filming.

Anderson said allowing the filming didn't cost the county anything.

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