The back of a squad car doesn't sound like an ideal place to grow up, but Paul Stojanovich, Jr. wouldn't have had it any other way.
Stojanjovich is the son of Paul Stojanovich, Sr., a reality television pioneer who won Emmys for his work on shows like "COPS," "American Detective" and "World's Wildest Police Videos," which ran on Fox between 1998 and 2001.
Stojanovich Sr. died in 2003 after accidentally falling off a cliff near Manzanita, Ore., while posing for a photograph for his fiance. Now, his son is following the family tradition by bringing "World's Wildest Police Videos" back to the small screen.
The season premiere debuts May 7 on Spike TV and Stojanovich admits he almost feels nostalgic watching videos of bank robbers assaulting people, cars crashing and rolling into each other and people opening fire on one another.
"I grew up in patrol cars," Stojanovich Jr. told The Huffington Post. "To this day, I really enjoy being with cops. Something about the high stakes of what they do."
A lot has changed in the 11 years since "World's Wildest Police Videos" was first on the air, mainly because of the rise of the smartphone.
"You have iPhone cameras everywhere, and the image quality is better," Stojanovich said. "I don't think we used one VHS tape this season. The real challenge is how you keep it fresh."
That is a concern, especially given the YouTube popularity of many of the videos on the show, including the infamous video of the 2010 Panama City School Board Shooting where Clay Allen Duke opened fire on the school board that fired his wife.
"When there's a video like that, there's actually so much that isn't there, so we do extensive research to add a new perspective," he said. "For instance, in that video -- which is in the first episode -- there are so many things going on that your eye is telling [you] someone's been shot when they haven't.
"Plus, we go into what would motivate this ex-con who is anti-government to do this."
Looking at hours of police videos for the choicest scenes can be mind-numbing at times, but Stojanovich said the lessons his father taught him serve him well.
"He used to tell me when we were out shooting for the shows, 'If the second coming of Christ happens, keep the subject in the frame. Don't worry about showing the hem of his garment,'" Stojanovich said. "Don't make an art movie."
Police videos can either make cops look good or look bad depending on how they do their duties, but Stojanovich thinks the positives outweigh any negatives.
"I tell police, 'You shouldn't be afraid. Good cops don't have anything to hide,'" he said.
This new show features police videos from all over the world including Argentina and Thailand, but Stojanovich said the three top places for truly wild police videos are in the good ol' U.S. of A.
"We get the most footage from Texas and California, but nothing tops Florida," he laughed. "I don't know why -- maybe the Sheriff's offices are more pro-active than, say, the NYPD, but you can count on at least one clip from Florida in every show."
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