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Pawleys Island: Pitch for police reality TV show voted off the island

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

A bid to bring a dash of reality to the Pawleys Island Police Department has met with a dash of cold water from Town Council.

A production company in California wanted to include the five-member department in a reality television series about small town police. “You don’t get a script, they just follow you,” Police Chief Guy Osborne said.

He spoke with a producer from Morning Dew Pictures who was referred to Osborne by a colleague in Chapin who knew about Osborne’s television spots for the Crimestoppers program while he was with Horry County Police.

“I told her I was retiring after Labor Day. She said that could be part of the show,” Osborne said.

He told Town Council this week the program would be more like a documentary.

“You would all be in this,” he said. “The guys, including Town Hall staff, are excited about it.”

“I’m not excited,” said Linda Abate, assistant to Mayor Bill Otis.

Town Clerk Diane Allen just laughed.

Morning Dew is also the producer of “Real Housewives of Miami”.

“Who’s going to play Snooki?” asked Council Member Sarah Zimmerman.

She wondered if there would be any liability to the town, but said otherwise “it wouldn’t bother me.”

“I don’t see the benefit to the town,” Otis said.

Council Member Mike Adams said he wasn’t too familiar with reality television, but from what he’s seen “it looks to me like there’s no reality there.”

Morning Dew offered to shoot a 15-minute demo for Town Council, Osborne said. He told the producer that he would pitch the idea, but doubted the town would go for it.

“I thought we were supposed to keep a low profile,” Council Member Glennie Tarbox said.

Council Member Mary McAllister agreed, and the project was voted off the island 4-1.

“I’m not sure our property owners would be comfortable with it,” Otis said.

If a television crew had followed Osborne earlier this month, they would have found him driving down Myrtle Avenue at 8 mph following a four-wheel bicycle. Island Surrey Bike Co. of Charleston wants to rent the bikes to vacationers in the town, but when the company owner, Jeremy Harrison, made a pitch to the council last month, Osborne was on vacation. Council members wanted him to look at the bikes.

The town doesn’t prohibit the bikes, but Harrison said he didn’t want to start renting them without the town’s approval.

“It’s actually smaller than two bikes side by side,” he said. “It keeps families contained.”

Council members are concerned that the island’s narrow streets are already filled with walkers, joggers and cyclists, not to mention cars and trucks.

“I have real concerns about the safety of it,” Otis said.

Unlike a conventional bike, the two-seaters can’t go single-file when traffic backs up. “That would add to the safety issues we already have,” Osborne said.

Otis said he would let Harrison know his project didn’t get a green light either.

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