World's Wildest Police Videos

Last updated
World's Wildest Police Videos
World's Wildest Police Videos.jpg
Created by Paul Stojanovich
Presented by John Bunnell
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasonsOriginal series: 4
Revived series: 1
No. of episodesOriginal series: 45+
Revived series: 13
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Paul Stojanovich Productions
Pursuit Productions
Pilgrim Studios
Spike Original
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Television
Original network Fox (1998–2001)
Spike (2012)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV; Spike run only)
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseOriginal series:
April 2, 1998 (1998-04-02) – July 27, 2001 (2001-07-27)
May 7 – August 13, 2012 (2012-08-13)
Preceded byWorld's Scariest Police Chases (1997 pilot)

World's Wildest Police Videos is an American reality TV series that deals with police videos from across the world. Video footage of car chases, subsequent arrests, robberies, riots and other crimes appear on the show. The series ran on Fox from 1998–2002, and in season 4, the show shortened its name to Police Videos. [1] In 2012, Spike announced that it had commissioned 13 new episodes with the revival of the original name and John Bunnell returning as host, [2] which premiered on May 7, 2012 and ended on August 13, 2012.

A car chase is the vehicular hot pursuit of suspects by law enforcers. The rise of the automotive industry in the 20th century increased car ownership, leading to a growing number of criminals attempting to evade police in their own vehicle or a stolen car. Car chases are often captured on news broadcast due to the video footage recorded by police cars and police and media helicopters participating in the chase. Car chases are also a popular subject with media and audiences due to their intensity, drama and the innate danger of high-speed driving.

Robbery taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear

Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take anything of value by force, threat of force, or by putting the victim in fear. According to common law, robbery is defined as taking the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property, by means of force or fear; that is, it is a larceny or theft accomplished by an assault. Precise definitions of the offence may vary between jurisdictions. Robbery is differentiated from other forms of theft by its inherently violent nature ; whereas many lesser forms of theft are punished as misdemeanors, robbery is always a felony in jurisdictions that distinguish between the two. Under English law, most forms of theft are triable either way, whereas robbery is triable only on indictment. The word "rob" came via French from Late Latin words of Germanic origin, from Common Germanic raub -- "theft".

Riot form of civil disorder

A riot is a form of civil disorder commonly characterized by a group lashing out in a violent public disturbance against authority, property or people. Riots typically involve theft, vandalism, and destruction of property, public or private. The property targeted varies depending on the riot and the inclinations of those involved. Targets can include shops, cars, restaurants, state-owned institutions, and religious buildings.



World's Wildest Police Videos began in 1998 and ran for four seasons, comprising a total of over 40 episodes before being officially cancelled in 2002. In Season 4 the show shortened its name to Police Videos. [3]

Most of the police videos featured on the show were from various U.S. police departments, but footage from other nations such as Argentina, South Korea, Brazil, Russia, Australia, and the United Kingdom also appeared. Video sources included cameras from police cars, helicopters, store security systems, news reporters, and private citizens from around the world. Much of the footage had previously only been seen by law enforcement officials. [4]

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Police Law enforcement body

A police service is a constituted body of persons empowered by a state to enforce the law, to protect people and property, and to prevent crime and civil disorder. Their powers include the power of arrest and the legitimized use of force. The term is most commonly associated with police services of a sovereign state that are authorized to exercise the police power of that state within a defined legal or territorial area of responsibility. Police forces are often defined as being separate from military or other organizations involved in the defense of the state against foreign aggressors; however, gendarmerie are military units charged with civil policing. The police force is usually a public sector service, funded through taxes.

Argentina federal republic in South America

Argentina, officially named the Argentine Republic, is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, and the largest Spanish-speaking nation. The sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

The show became popular with viewers. It had the highest ratings of any Fox network television special to that date. It was also featured on Entertainment Tonight and was re-aired later that month. It was the first sweeps-month special ever to run twice during a sweeps period by Fox.

<i>Entertainment Tonight</i> American entertainment television news series from CBS Television Distribution

Entertainment Tonight is an American first-run syndicated entertainment television newsmagazine that is distributed by CBS Television Distribution throughout the United States.


The series began with the series of specials World's Scariest Police Chases , which was broadcast on February 2, 1997. It was narrated by actor Peter Coyote, and featured commentary by Captain C. W. Jensen of the Portland Police Bureau. Five episodes of World's Scariest Police Chases aired, with the second on April 27, 1997, third on November 4, 1997, fourth on February 17, 1998, and the fifth on April 28, 1998. [5]

Peter Coyote American actor and director

Peter Coyote is an American actor, author, director, screenwriter and narrator of films, theatre, television and audiobooks. He is known for performing in films including E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Cross Creek (1983), Jagged Edge (1985), Patch Adams (1998), Erin Brockovich (2000), A Walk to Remember (2002), Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012) and Good Kill (2014). He was the "Voice of Oscar" for the 72nd Academy Awards ceremony, the first Oscars announcer to be seen on-camera.

Charles W. "C. W." Jensen is a retired captain of the Portland Police Bureau in the U.S. state of Oregon. Jensen was also a regular on the FOX television series World's Wildest Police Videos. He also appeared on other police-related programs, including American Detective and World's Scariest Police Chases, which first aired in 1991 and 1997 respectively.

Portland Police Bureau municipal police

The Portland Police Bureau (PPB), officially the Portland Bureau of Police, is the law enforcement agency of the city of Portland, the largest city in the U.S. state of Oregon. While oversight of Portland's bureaus shifts among the five City Commissioners, the mayor has historically been assigned to the Police Bureau as the police commissioner.

A further two special episodes called World's Scariest Police Shootouts aired around this time as well. The two episodes focused on police shootouts rather than chases themselves, although some of the clips featured a car chase along with a shootout. The first episode of World's Scariest Police Shootouts aired on February 15, 1997 and the second episode, World's Scariest Police Shootouts 2, aired on April 23, 1998. Both episodes were narrated and hosted by John Bunnell. The episodes featured more well known content, such as: the North Hollywood shootout, the Murder of Darrell Lunsford, the 1991 Sacramento hostage crisis, white supremacist Chevie Kehoe and his shootout with police, and the 1996 Honolulu hostage crisis. [6]

North Hollywood shootout bank robbery and subsequent shootout between bank robbers and police

The North Hollywood shootout was a confrontation between two heavily armed and armored bank robbers, Larry Phillips Jr. and Emil Mătăsăreanu, and members of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in the North Hollywood district of Los Angeles, California, on February 28, 1997. Both robbers were killed, 12 police officers and eight civilians were injured, and numerous vehicles and other property were damaged or destroyed by the nearly 2,000 rounds of ammunition fired by the robbers and police.

Murder of Darrell Lunsford

On January 23, 1991, in Garrison, Texas, police constable Darrell Lunsford pulled over a suspicious vehicle. Inside the vehicle were three men transporting marijuana from Texas to Illinois. After Lunsford requested to search the trunk of the vehicle, the men exited the car, tackled Lunsford and shot him after a struggle. They then drove off after killing him. Lunsford's dashboard camera in his police cruiser recorded the murder. Footage of the murder is used in law enforcement training. The date of the murder has been described as "one of the most infamous dates in the history of Texas law enforcement."

1991 Sacramento hostage crisis

On April 4, 1991, in Sacramento, California forty-one people were taken hostage at a Good Guys! electronics store located near the Florin Mall, by four gunmen after botching a prior robbery. During the hostage crisis, three hostages, as well as three of the four hostage-takers, were killed. The fourth hostage-taker was captured by authorities, and an additional fourteen hostages were injured during the crisis. To this day, the hostage crisis remains the largest hostage rescue operation in U.S. history, with over forty hostages having been held at gunpoint.

After the first special of World's Scariest Police Chases, the show was broadcast weekly. It was hosted by John Bunnell, a retired police officer and former Sheriff of Multnomah County, Oregon. Bunnell's commentary was often characterized by puns, multiple clichés, over-dramatic descriptions of the struggle between good and evil, the police and criminals, victims and abusers, etc. Although Bunnell hosted and commented on most of the show, most police video segments were dubbed with the actual law enforcement officials acting in the situation presented. Tire screeching noises, horn beeps, automobile collision sounds and sirens are often overdubbed into these segments. This is especially noticeable in footage where vehicles are driving over dry grass or sand, and the sounds of tire screeching can still be heard.

It has been widely noticed that the same voice is used in almost every helicopter footage scene, regardless of the location the footage is from. This uncredited role is said to be that of Lawrence Welk III who usually goes by "Larry Welk," and is a reporter and helicopter traffic pilot for KCAL-TV and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. He is also the grandson of famed musician Lawrence Welk. In one episode, his narration is even used as that of an announcer at a motorcross rally.

Originally, a typical episode included sections entitled: "PIT maneuver," "Car Thieves," "Rainy Chase," "Big Rig Road Block," "Jumping Off Bridge," and "Drunk Drivers." This was soon dropped, and replaced with a string of clips, each commentated on by Bunnell. After a few videos, a small clip of Bunnell would be shown, often describing the police mentality behind the videos about to appear.

Occasionally, episodes were dedicated to police officers killed in the line of duty.

A video game based on the series was released for the PlayStation in 2001, entitled World's Scariest Police Chases , also featuring Bunnell. The game received mixed reviews, ranging from a 3.5/10 from, to a 9/10 from Official PlayStation Magazine (UK).

In pop culture

In the Family Guy episode "Quagmire's Baby", there is a sequence of Fred Flintstone fleeing from the police in the family car, in an episode of World's Wildest Police Videos. Flintstone crashes, and attempts to flee on foot, but is delayed by the Hanna-Barbera skiddadle running effect. A similar sequence was used in the episode "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side", when TIE fighters and a Star Destroyer were chasing the Millennium Falcon. These sequences were narrated by Sheriff John Bunnell himself.

It was also parodied on MADtv as "World's Queeniest Police Chases".

Worldwide syndication






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