PINAL COUNTY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5 ) - An Arizona sheriff is now taking on a new role too: TV network creator.
Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb announced Monday he's launching his own streaming network featuring sheriffs across the country.
It begs the question -- who is paying for this and where's he finding the time to do it?
Sheriff Lamb said he knows the backlash will come and knows not everyone will be on board, but he said this is a passion project aimed to showcase law enforcement in the best way, and he says none of this is being paid for by taxpayers.
“How is the funding working to make the network possible?” asked reporter Briana Whitney.
“Yeah, this is something I’m doing. I’ve got a few partners on it and obviously because of conflict of interest this is not something I will be doing through the sheriff's office,” Lamb said. “I have proven over the last four years that I’m not like other sheriffs. I mean, I try to do this job the way I feel is best.”
It’s a subscription-based network called “American Sheriff" that will cost $4.99 a month featuring sheriffs departments from all over the U.S.
Lamb said after the past year of tenuous police relations, he wants law enforcement to have a voice again.
“They’re going to be able to see ride along action, they’re going to see the real stories of the men and women out there doing this work. They’re going to get a chance to see training,” Lamb said. “It’s no surprise to anybody we’ve kind of taken a beating in law enforcement over the last couple years and what voice we did have was lost last year.”
Not only will you not see Pinal County featured on it at all, but he said this is a personal project that has nothing to do with his taxpayers footing the bill.
“No taxpayer dollars are being used for this and I have to carve out my personal time for this. Whatever family time we did have is pretty much gone now,” Lamb said.
Sheriff Lamb knows the community will wonder how he will do it all — perform his elected duties as sheriff and run a streaming network.
He said he's used to being busy, and feels this is important to launch now despite a lot of extra work. “I’m going to continue to go out and put in the work I’ve been doing. Look, I’ve still put in 50-60 hours a week. This has not changed the amount of work that I do at my agency,” Lamb said.
So where is that subscription money going to go? Lamb said it will go to the production crew, the digital aspects of the network, and eventually to some charities as well.