PAW PAW, Mich. — When Sheriff Dan Abbott was called a celebrity, he laughed.
“I’m not a celebrity,” he said while smiling. “I think it’s neat that it went viral like it did. It’s nice positive PR for law enforcement.”
In August 2019, Sheriff Abbott performed a pit maneuver that abruptly ended a police chase through Van Buren County.
The suspect was arrested but the dash cam video went viral, he said. Wednesday night it’ll be featured on the TV show Live-PD on the A&E Network.
“I’m like everybody else, I don’t know what I’m going to see tonight,” he said during an interview with FOX 17. “I’m kind of nervous but you know they’re professional. I’m sure the product is going to be great.”
Sheriff Abbott said the video went so viral that it caught the attention of the producers at Live-PD back in the fall.
“When I got the email and the call, I’m like ‘Live PD? Seriously?’" he recalled. “So then we started talking back and forth.”
He said the producers flew him and his wife to New York City in December. There, they gave him chauffeur to take them around the city and to the Live-PD studios.
“You’re actually wearing two mics during the whole set,” he said. “They’ve got one by your ear and one on your collar so the producers are actually talking to you the whole time. You know ‘turn this way, talk more towards sticks.’ You know, that was kind of neat.”
After Sheriff Abbott returned, he said they were in talks with the producers about filming Live-PD in Van Buren County.
“I can’t give you a lot of information on it. A&E wants to be involved in the press release,” he said. “But it’s leaked out that they are going to be here filming with our deputies five days a week over the next year.”
He said the best part about his journey lately has been the community. They’ve supported him throughout his 27-year career in law enforcement, his four-years as sheriff, his trip to NYC and his recent nomination for the 2019 Sheriff of the Year award.
“I’m going into my fourth year as the Sheriff, and to be nominated to be National Sheriff of the Year, to be put up on that stage even in that conversation,” Sheriff Abbott took a deep breath before continuing, “I almost get speechless.”
Sheriff Abbott said the show airs at 8 p.m on A&E on Wednesday Feb. 12. He has no big plans for it.
He said he’s just humbled by the experience and grateful to have Van Buren County shown on the national stage.
“To me honestly it’s just another one of those things,” he said. “I think it’s neat to see the community support in this. I never would have thought, you know, it would have went as viral and as big as it did in this community.”