‘Campus PD’ visits NMU

Lucy Hough

Students around town might have encountered a handful of cameramen with the Marquette City Police filming for a potential episode of “Campus PD.” “Campus PD” is the popular television show that airs on G4. The film crew of five people left last Sunday night, Sept. 26, after having been in Marquette for three weeks.

“Campus PD” is a television show where a camera crew follows around a police officer on calls that come in. According to Christine Cavalieri, a coproducer of “Campus PD,” one of the reasons Marquette was chosen as a place to film is because of its significant student population in the city.

“We were also very keen to film in Michigan, and when we made contact with Chief (of Marquette Police Mike) Angeli and his staff, they were so warm and full of character, we knew we had a winning combination,” Cavalieri said.

Overall, Cavalieri said that the “Campus PD’s” videographer’s experience in Marquette was very good, considering sometimes they don’t know what they’re going to get –– the same way a police officer can never anticipate the night ahead of them.

“We couldn’t have had a warmer welcome than that extended to us by Chief Angeli and his staff.  The men and women of Marquette Police Department, and the people we met while filming with them, were absolutely wonderful.”

According to Marquette City Police Lieutenant Mike Laurila, there were five freelance videographers who went out at night with a primary officer who was hooked up with a microphone. They would simply tag along on calls and videotape what happened.

“I think what they were wanting is calls that involve college-aged students and what not,” Laurila said, “but they responded with us on all calls, anywhere from loud noise parties to suicidal subjects to domestics.”

The city police did not change any of their usual operations on account of the camera crew, Laurila said. Sometimes the police officers didn’t even know they were there. He said ultimately it was “business as usual.”

“There were nights when they rode with us and there wasn’t a call and it was very quiet,” Laurila said. “And then, there were nights that they rode with us and it was extremely busy.”

The Marquette City Police were not offered any money in exchange for allowing the cameras to follow the officers.

“I think we agreed because they wanted to do it and we have no reason not to allow them to do it with us,” Laurila said.

Some at Northern don’t feel that having “Campus PD” to Marquette was a good idea, painting the community in a bad light. Cavalieri said, however, communities shouldn’t feel that way.

“We think it is unfortunate that any one should respond to a show about police officers serving their community with the idea that it places anyone in a “bad light” but we can’t dictate people’s personal opinions,” Cavalieri said. “For us, the show is about police officers who regularly work with a young vibrant population and the issues involved in that work.”

Dylan Shiver, resident director in Gant Hall, had to ask that “Campus PD” not record in the dorms when the city police were coming in to search for a suspect in a case who was supposedly in Gant Hall.

“At one in the morning on a Friday night, it would just be a big disturbance to the community to have that many cameras going through the halls,” Shiver said.

Shiver said that there were two cameras and three boom mics, and cameramen were overall very understanding of Shiver’s request. They filmed the police officer going into the resident hall as a compromise.

“I was totally thrown off guard, I didn’t even know that ‘Campus PD’ was here, never heard off the show. I didn’t know anything about it,” Shiver said.

Since the incident, Shiver said that he has watched YouTube videos of the show and worries about the end product that will appear on G4.

“I think it’s a horrible idea,” Shiver said. “They do not paint students or the universities they go to in a good light. I don’t see the benefit.”