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Can sheriff learn from television show? 10-4

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© St. Petersburg Times, published April 6, 2001

I don't know about everyone else, but I, for one, was glad to learn that Pasco County Sheriff Bob White is using the old television show T.J. Hooker as a blueprint for how his deputies should act in at least some instances.

White, winding up his first 100 days on the job without any major missteps and a plus or two, used the analogy in presenting a new idea earlier this week.

Actually, his idea isn't a bad one -- disbanding the department's domestic violence unit in favor of having one deputy specially trained in handling such cases on each shift, and, eventually, having most of his deputies so trained.

The deputies in the domestic violence unit he shut down might disagree, but I see as honorable his intent to put more deputies on the street without demanding more budget funds for it and not cheating those who might need the service of the unit.

William Shatner, who played the know-it-all cop on Hooker after a lengthy stint as Captain Kirk on Star Trek, did seem to have all the answers all the time and showed an uncanny ability to solve every case in less than an hour, an impressive goal for law enforcement everywhere (and one that would really be good PR for White's department).

Of course, Hooker got to ride around in a squad car all day with Heather Locklear, a fringe benefit, as yet unoffered to Pasco deputies.

I'd probably feel better if White wasn't also making Lt. Col. Richard Worch wear pointy Spock-ears to work until Worch figures out a way to keep reporters and other Klingons from reading the secret computer messages he sent when he was sheriff elsewhere.

White also obviously needs to get at least one Ph.D. on his staff so someone can comfort him once in a while by yelling, "Dammit Sheriff, I'm a doctor, not a shift commander." The last Republican sheriff didn't have any trouble finding lawyers; White should be able to cough up a doctor or two.

I jest, of course.

Those are Worch's real ears.

And drafting Hooker as an example for real life performance could be a valuable tool for other governmental entities.

Come on, don't we all wish our cities had a deputy mayor as cool as Michael J. Fox was in Spin City?

Port Richey could certainly turn to Larry, Curley and Moe for governmental role models, as long as they can manage to keep the number of stooges in city government down to three. After that they're into doing remakes of old Monkees shows without the music.

Our court system would be much more effective (and hundreds of times more attractive) if we could substitute the casts of Law & Order and The Practice and once again, we could clear cases at the rate of two or three per hour instead of the current numbing bureaucratic nightmare.

Since they are both Republicans, maybe White could pass his idea along to George Bush. I, personally, think Martin Sheen of West Wing would make a much better president than Dubya, even if he does, in real life, have a penchant for getting arrested at demonstrations for whacked-out liberal causes.

A White House staffed with hip, glib, intellectual types like those on the television show with their lines and situations pre-determined would make for much better handling of crisis situations and the economy.

Besides, it would get me watching C-SPAN again. Allison Janney, who plays press secretary C.J. Cregg on the show, is hot!

I guess it's only fair to say that politicos would rather be covered by newspapers run by Lou Grant, covered by reporters about as smart as Jimmy Olson and Lois Lane and dealing with fictional rather than real life-and-death issues.

So let's salute Bob White for finding a good role model and sticking with it. No matter what you have heard, it is not true that White has an obsession with Dennis Franz. And his desire to be videotaped nude in the shower, as Franz was in an episode of NYPD Blue, is only rumor.

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