Many a student has chuckled over the usually humorous, and sometimes bizarre, stories in the BYU Police Beat over the years. But for a few students, the Police Beat is more than just a collection of laughable, criminal misdeeds — it is a gold mine of material worthy of its own sitcom.
Four BYU students have staked their claim in this rich vein, and on Sept. 4, the “BYU Police Beat” web series was officially launched on YouTube.
The idea for the web series came about when film major Reagan Frey approached his friend David Miller about turning the Police Beat into a series.
“I thought it was brilliant,” Miller, an advertising student from Bountiful, said.
The duo filmed the first episode after a few months of writing down ideas and figuring out a cast (though the show really only consists of two main characters).
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The series follows an “odd couple” senior and junior police duo, with the officers played by theater major Patrick Newman from Tallahassee, Fla., and acting major Joseph Skousen from Morgantown, W.Va., respectively.
“My character — I don’t even think we’ve settled on a name yet — we just differentiate between the senior and junior cop,” Newman said. “He’s super serious, sometimes takes things out of proportion. He wants to put a big bust on his resume before he leaves campus.”
Skousen’s character on the other hand, the junior cop, is just there to make some money working on campus while going to school.
“What we really wanted to explore there was the level of commitment to the job and the loyalty between these two characters, and why we have police who take these things so seriously,” Newman said.
Additional story lines will come into play as the series moves forward, such as the love interests of the two cops and rivalries with other police officers. But both Miller and Newman agreed that the episode they are most excited to release is episode two, in which the two officers investigate a stolen sleeve of Oreo cookies. To find out what happens, viewers will have to tune in on YouTube.
Miller said as long as the series is successful, they will continue to produce episodes.
“It’s honestly just for fun,” Miller said. “Part of the fun with our series is there’s nothing on the line.”
Newman said he thinks people will love seeing the live telling of all the ridiculous incidents that show up in the Police Beat.
“It’s like having a book you already love and then seeing the movie when it comes out,” Newman said.
Miller’s biggest hope for the series is that people will subscribe to the YouTube channel (PoliceBeatBYU) and continue posting their favorite Police Beats.
“We really want to make it an interactive thing, so we’ve been asking people who watch it to suggest Police Beats that they would like to see turned into an episode,” Miller said.
Newman as well hopes that people will subscribe to the channel and suggest their favorite stories.
In the first six days, without much promotion, the first episode received almost 2,000 views and the channel gained more than 100 subscribers. Viewers have commented that the show is “hysterical,” “awesome,” and has some “real potential.”
Kirk Garrett, a Spanish major from Memphis, Tenn., said he thinks since the Police Beat is such a big part of BYU culture, people will enjoy watching it.
“Their shorts are the funniest part,” Garrett said.
The episodes will be released every Tuesday in correlation with The Universe, Miller said, so that hopefully people will read the Police Beat and then tune in for the newest episode.