Ashe County Sheriff James Williams reports the National Geographic Channel will give television viewers the opportunity to observe some of the law enforcement duties of the Ashe County Sheriffs Office. Filming for the documentary, which will also feature the Sullivan County Tennessee Sheriffs Office, will most likely air sometime this summer. The show will be called Appalachian Justice.
Sheriff Williams was contacted by the National Geographic group in late summer of 2013, and asked if he would be interested in the series. The production company ELECTUS began visiting and interviewing Appalachian law enforcement agencies including the Ashe County Sheriffs Office. The Sheriff was contacted about a month after they were here, stating that they were very impressed with the Sheriffs
operation here and the beauty of the county. ELECTUS then confirmed with the Sheriff that Ashe County Sheriffs Office and Sullivan County Sheriffs Office had been chosen for the documentary. Sheriff Williams states he feels honored to have been chosen from approximately 3,500 sheriffs offices over the region.
Sheriff Williams states, It just shows what a professional and well trained staff I have. I am fortunate to manage a group of the best law enforcement officers and support staff around.
Williams states one of the reasons he decided to participate in the documentary is to help boost the economy of the county. He also thought that this would be good exposure for the County since this program will air nationwide. This hopefully, would entice prospective industry, and bring more tourism. Also, the County will be paid $5,000 per episode that is shown. By NC General Statute, any monies collected will be posted directly into the General Fund of the county.
No cost is being incurred by the county. However, the filming is already bringing income into the county. The film crews fly in from California. They stay at local motels and eat at local restaurants. They shop here in the County and buy their gas here. The crews have been here during the last 2 and a half months, taking a break over the Christmas holidays.
Williams states that he has been unable to discuss the filming prior to this due to contractual confidentiality agreements. According to the contracts, no Ashe County employee is being paid or compensated for taking part in the film.
ELECTUS has produced shows now airing on the National Geographic Channel such as Alaska State Troopers and Unsolved Mysteries.
- Written by Steve Frank