Transcript: Ep. 2 - Coppers: An arresting look at retired cops | May 05, 2020

A white slate shows the TVO On Docs logo.

A female announcer says YOU'RE LISTENING TO A TVO PODCAST.

(JAZZ BEAT PLAYING)

Colin says I'M COLIN ELLIS AND YOU'RE LISTENING TO ON DOCS, A PODCAST ABOUT DOCUMENTARIES AND THE STORIES THEY TELL. MY GUEST TODAY IS ALAN ZWEIG, A DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER AND DIRECTOR OF SUCH FILMS AS WHEN JEWS WERE FUNNY, A HARD NAME, AND I CURMUDGEON. HIS LATEST FILM COPPERS IS A TVO ORIGINAL AND IT FEATURES INTERVIEWS WITH SEVERAL RETIRED POLICE OFFICERS FROM ACROSS ONTARIO ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES ON THE JOB.

(STRINGS PLAYING)

A woman says NOBODY CALLS THE POLICE WHEN THEY'RE HAVING A FANTASTIC DAY. NO ONE.
(CHUCKLING)
IT'S ALWAYS THE WORST DAY OF EVERYONE'S LIFE THAT YOU'RE THERE TO WITNESS.

A man says WHEN I GOT HIRED, THE CHIEF AT THE TIME SAID TO ME, "YOU HAVE JUST GOT YOURSELF A TICKET, "A RINGSIDE SEAT TO THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH." AND, BOY, WAS HE EVER RIGHT.

A different man says WE HAVE MEN AND WOMEN THAT ARE DROPPING LIKE FLIES AND IT'S NOT BEING MURDERED BY THE PEOPLE ON THE STREET; WE'RE TAKING OUR OWN LIVES. SO, WHEN THE POLICE COMMUNITY ARE KILLING THEMSELVES AND PEOPLE ASK ME, "WHY ARE THE POLICE SO ROUGH ON ME? "OR WHY DID THEY DO THIS, WHY DID THEY DO THAT," GOD, SOMETIMES SOME OF THESE COPS - AND I WAS ONE OF THEM - I DIDN'T CARE FOR ME, WHY WOULD I CARE FOR YOU?

(STRINGS PLAYING)

Colin says THESE COPS GET INTO SOME DARK STUFF AND I'M GONNA WARN YOU, IT'S NOT AN EASY WATCH. THEY'VE SEEN THE ABSOLUTE WORST OF HUMANITY, FROM STABBING VICTIMS, TO MURDER-SUICIDES, TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE. IT'S REALLY INTENSE. SOME OF THEM HAVE ALSO HAD TO DEAL WITH BULLYING FROM OTHER POLICE OFFICERS, INCLUDING RACIST AND SEXIST ABUSE, AND THE TOLL IT TAKES ON MANY OF THEM IS REALLY HORRIBLE. VERY FEW CAN STAY IN RELATIONSHIPS, SOME TURN TO ALCOHOL, AND A FEW ARE EVEN DIAGNOSED WITH PTSD.

Another man says THERE'S A PERCENTAGE OF GUYS THAT LET THEIR HEARTS GET BUSTED AND INSTEAD OF HAVING A POSITIVE MECHANISM TO PUT IT BACK TOGETHER AGAIN, THEY START DRINKING, DRUGS, SPOUSAL ABUSE, WHORING AROUND AND OUR LIVES FALL APART.

Colin says I SPOKE WITH ZWEIG ABOUT MAKING THE DOC, WHY HE USED TO THINK ALL COPS WERE BULLIES, AND WHAT OTHER COPS THINK OF THE FILM. STAY WITH US. I KIND OF WANT TO START JUST SORT OF WHERE... WHERE THIS STORY IDEA KIND OF CAME TO YOU FROM AND WHY DID YOU WANT TO TELL IT?

Alan says UM, WELL, I DON'T KNOW HOW LONG AGO NOW. PROBABLY LIKE SIX YEARS AGO, SOMETHING LIKE THAT, A YOUNG MAN I KNEW, WHO I HAD MET IN A COURSE THAT I TAUGHT, ASKED ME TO MEET HIM AND HE INTRODUCED ME TO HIS FRIEND GARY, WHO WAS A FORMER COP, AND THEY WERE LOOKING FOR SOMEBODY TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT GARY AND HIS EXPERIENCE. THEY WEREN'T ASKING ME TO DO IT. SO, I MET WITH THEM A FEW TIMES AND HELPED... TRIED TO HELP THEM FIND SOMEBODY APPROPRIATE. AT ONE POINT, I DID THINK MAYBE I SHOULD DO IT, BUT THAT DIDN'T GO ANYWHERE. SO, ANYWAY, THE THING ABOUT THIS GUY GARY - WHO'S IN THE FILM - IS THAT I COULD SEE IN HIM THE KIND OF AGGRESSIVE THING THAT COPS HAVE THAT ALWAYS PUT ME OFF. YOU KNOW, I HAD EXPERIENCED A NUMBER OF UNPLEASANT EXPERIENCES WITH COPS WHEN I DROVE CAB, BEING VERY AGGRESSIVE WITH ME FOR NO GOOD REASON. I'M JUST DRIVING A CAB. I'M NOT A CRIMINAL. SO, THIS IDEA WAS IN MY BACK POCKET AND THERE WERE REASONS I DIDN'T WANT TO DO IT, INCLUDING THE FACT THAT I, LIKE OTHER PEOPLE, HAVE MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT COPS. THAT'S KIND OF... SO, IT'S PARTLY OUT OF INTEREST AND OUT OF BEING INTRIGUED AND CURIOUS, AND PARTLY OUT OF THE NOTION THAT THE SUBJECT WOULD BE INTERESTING.

Colin says DO YOU STILL HAVE MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT COPS?

Alan says UM... SOMEWHAT. NOT THE SAME. I MEAN, I WOULD SAY THAT IT'S ALMOST A BIT LIKE MY FILM ABOUT EX-CONS THAT I MADE TEN YEARS PREVIOUSLY AND WAS ALSO ON TVO, CALLED A HARD NAME, WHICH IS IT'S GOOD TO HAVE SOME UNDERSTANDING OF WHY PEOPLE ACT A CERTAIN WAY, IT HELPS, BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU LIKE THEM DOING IT. YOU UNDERSTAND HOW CRIMINALS HAVE... OFTEN HAVE, LIKE, BRUTAL CHILDHOODS AND NO SELF-ESTEEM, BUT IF THEY... YOU KNOW, IF THEY MUG YOU, THEY MUG YOU AND YOU HATE THEM. AND COPS, THAT ATTITUDE, WHEN I HEAR IT, MY BACK STILL... I STILL GET TIGHT, I STILL GET KIND OF ANNOYED. BUT I UNDERSTAND IT MORE THAN I DID BEFORE AND THAT HELPS ME... HELPS ME, UM... YOU KNOW, TEMPER MY REACTION AND I WOULD HOPE THAT IT WOULD TEMPER THE REACTION OF ANYBODY WHO SAW THE FILM.

Colin says WELL, YOU MENTIONED WORKING AS A CAB DRIVER AND COPS WOULD BE GIVING YOU A HARD TIME, DO YOU KNOW WHY THEY WOULD GIVE YOU A HARD TIME IN PARTICULAR? I MEAN, CABBIES DON'T STRIKE ME AS BEING PARTICULARLY TROUBLESOME.

Alan says WELL, THERE'S A LOT OF REASONS. I'M SURE SOMEBODY COULD WRITE A NICE ARTICLE ABOUT THIS. THERE'S A PRACTICAL REASON, WHICH IS THAT THREE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING, THERE'S NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE LEFT ON THE ROAD, SO IF A COP... COPS GET KIND OF... YOU KNOW, KIND OF ANTSY AND LIKE, "I HAVEN'T PULLED ANYBODY OVER, "I HAVEN'T HASSLED ANYBODY IN HALF AN HOUR. "OH, THERE'S A CABBIE." AND THE THING IS THERE'S ALL KINDS OF RULES FOR CABBIES - OR THERE USED TO BE - THAT CABBIES DON'T NECESSARILY KEEP. LIKE, YOU HAVE TO WRITE DOWN EVERY FARE YOU DO. THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO REASON, LEGALLY, FOR YOU TO HAVE TO DO THAT. I THINK THE REASON, ONCE UPON A TIME, YOU HAD TO DO IT WAS BECAUSE IT HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE OWNERS AND THEY WOULD WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH YOU WORKED. BUT ANYWAY, THE POINT IS, THERE'S NO REASON TO KEEP WHAT THEY CALL A TRIP SHEET, WHICH IS... I LOVE THAT WORD "TRIP SHEET," I MADE A FILM CALLED TRIP SHEET. BUT I THINK COPS KNOW THAT IF THEY STOP A CABBIE AND SAY, "LET ME SEE YOUR TRIP SHEET," NINE TIMES OUT OF TEN, THEY'LL BE ABLE TO WRITE THEM A TICKET. SO, THAT'S ONE REASON. THE SECOND REASON IS THAT OLD WIVES TALES, I THINK, ABOUND AMONG COP CULTURE, AND ONE OLD WIVES TALE THAT PROBABLY COMES FROM THE '50S, WHEN TORONTO WAS A LITTLE MORE DRY PLACE, WAS CABBIES WERE BOOTLEGGERS. CABBIES WERE PIMPS, CABBIES KNEW WHERE TO TAKE YOU. IN A SENSE THAT CABBIES AT NIGHT WERE KIND OF A LOW PART OF THE CRIMINAL CLASS, SO THEY DON'T LIKE CABBIES. I THOUGHT THAT COPS WERE BULLIES ALL THEIR LIFE AND THAT THEY... YOU KNOW, IT'S LIKE SOMEBODY, THE GUIDANCE COUNSELLOR SAID, "YOU KNOW, YOU'RE A BULLY, YOU SHOULD BE A COP." AND... AND... 'CAUSE THAT'S WHAT THEY LIKE - BULLIES. AND THEN, I REALIZED AFTERWARDS THAT, NO, COPS START OUT JUST LIKE YOU AND ME, WANTING... OR WHATEVER, THEY START OUT NORMAL, THEY START OUT WANTING TO HELP, THEY START OUT WANTING TO BE GOOD CITIZENS, THEY START OUT WANTING TO PROTECT, AND THE JOB TURNS THEM INTO BULLIES. I DON'T KNOW IF YOU CAN BE A... IT'S KIND OF HARD TO BE A COP AND NOT BECOME A BULLY. SO, NOW, THAT DOES CHANGE MY ATTITUDE.

Colin says HMM. DO YOU THINK, LIKE... 'CAUSE I GREW UP WATCHING COP SHOWS, LIKE HOMICIDE OR NYPD BLUE AND I WONDER, LIKE, IF MOVIES LIKE OR TV SHOWS LIKE THAT HAVE KIND OF DISTORTED THE REALITY OF WHAT BEING A COP IS LIKE.

Alan says WELL, YEAH, DEFINITELY THAT HAVE. I MEAN... I MEAN, I DON'T... I DIDN'T REALLY ASK COPS THIS QUESTION TOO MUCH, BUT, YEAH, SURE, COPS ALWAYS SAY THAT IT'S NOTHING LIKE THAT. BUT IF YOU ASK THEM... IF YOU TELL THEM SOME STORYLINE FROM NYPD BLUE OR SOMETHING THAT YOU LIKED, OFTEN, THEY SAY, "YES, THAT PARTICULAR THING COULD HAPPEN." I DON'T THINK THAT'S WHAT... THAT'S NOT THE DISTORTION. THE DISTORTION IS THAT THEIR LIFE IS MAINLY CONCERNED WITH THE KINDS OF STUFF YOU SEE IN COP SHOWS. MOST COPS DON'T SHOOT THEIR GUN EVER IN THEIR ENTIRE CAREER. YOU KNOW? MOST COPS DON'T HAVE, YOU KNOW, LIKE, ROMANTIC CRIMINAL PURSUITS LIKE YOU SEE ON TV. MOST COPS GO TO APARTMENTS AND FIND BODIES THAT HAVE BEEN THERE FOR A WEEK, ROTTING, WHICH YOU DO SEE ON COP SHOWS, BUT NOT... YOU KNOW, NOT EVERY DAY, NOT... THAT'S ALL. I DO THINK THAT THERE'S A KIND OF A REPETITIVE, DEHUMANIZING ASPECT TO THE JOB THAT WE ASK THEM TO DO THAT, IF THEY PUT THAT IN A COP SHOW, YOU'D BE BORED.

Colin says YEAH. WELL, THE COPS YOU INTERVIEW IN THIS FILM, UH, SOME HAVE SHOT PEOPLE, SOME HAVE FOUND VICTIMS WITH THEIR GUTS HANGING OUT, I MEAN, AWFUL THINGS, AND IT TRULY STAYS WITH THEM. CAN YOU JUST TALK A BIT ABOUT SOME OF THOSE STORIES, SOME OF THOSE COPS' EXPERIENCES?

Alan says WELL, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT THE... THE THING THAT STRUCK ME AS I WAS INTERVIEWING THESE PEOPLE AND THEY TOLD THESE STORIES WAS THAT THERE WAS NOTHING SURPRISING ABOUT THE STORIES IN THE SENSE THAT KIND OF, LIKE, "CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT THEY EXPERIENCED THAT." AND IT'S LIKE, "NO, OF COURSE, I KNOW THAT HAPPENS. "I KNOW PEOPLE DIE "AND THEIR BODIES AREN'T DISCOVERED FOR A WEEK. "I KNOW THAT PEOPLE HAVE HORRIFIC ACCIDENTS. "I KNOW, INTELLECTUALLY, "THAT SOMETIMES LIMBS ARE SEVERED IN ACCIDENTS." THERE WAS A COUPLE OF... A COUPLE OF ACCIDENTS THAT WERE TOLD TO ME - LIKE, ONE WITH, YOU KNOW, SOMEBODY, THEY HIT THE TREE AND THEN ONE OF THE PEOPLE WAS UP THE TREE, HANGING FROM THE TREE, DEAD - LIKE, THERE WERE SOME IMAGES THAT I WAS, LIKE, "OKAY, I NEVER EXACTLY KNEW THAT THAT HAPPENED." BUT THERE WAS NOTHING THAT THEY TOLD ME THAT I THOUGHT, "OH MY GOD, I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT'S ACTUAL NONFICTION."

Colin says WHAT ABOUT THE POLTERGEIST?

Alan says PARDON ME? OH, THE POLTERGEIST...

(COLIN CHUCKLING)

Colin says ACTUALLY, CAN YOU JUST TELL THAT STORY?

(CHUCKLING)

Alan says WELL, I WILL IN A SECOND, BUT, UM, THE POINT... I THINK THE WHOLE POINT OF THE FILM IS THAT WE KNOW WHAT COPS EXPERIENCE, BUT SINCE WE NEVER HEARD ABOUT IT AFFECTING THEM, WE ASSUME THAT THEY HAVE A WAY OF DEALING WITH IT. THINGS THAT YOU OR I WOULD SEE ONE DAY AND NEVER FORGET THE REST OF OUR LIVES, THEY SEE EVERY DAY AND SOMETIMES FIVE TIMES A DAY, AND WE ASSUME, THROUGH SOME KIND OF TRAINING WHICH THEY HAVE, THAT THEY HAVE A WAY OF DEALING WITH IT, THAT THEY HAVE A WAY OF COMPARTMENTALIZING IT, THAT THEY HAVE A WAY OF NOT HAVING IT AFFECT THEM EMOTIONALLY OR THEIR BRAIN, AND THAT'S RIDICULOUS FOR US TO THINK THAT, JUST TOTALLY RIDICULOUS THAT WE THINK THAT. AND YET, I KNOW THAT COPS STILL... THERE ARE COPS THAT STILL WANT US TO BELIEVE THAT. THE PEOPLE IN MY FILM HAVE HEARD THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE, FROM OTHER COPS WHO SAW THE FILM AND ARE LIKE, YOU KNOW, "YOU SHOULD'VE KEPT THAT INSIDE. "YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TOLD PEOPLE THAT. "YOU SHOULD'VE... DON'T..." I MEAN, IT'S NOT... THERE'S NO DIRTY LAUNDRY BEING AIRED, BUT JUST LIKE, "PEOPLE DON'T NEED TO KNOW THAT, "PEOPLE DON'T NEED TO HEAR THAT." YOU KNOW, IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT WE KNOW THAT COPS KILL THEMSELVES, YOU KNOW, AT A SLIGHTLY HIGHER RATE THAN OTHER PEOPLE, WE STILL MANAGE TO, IN OUR OWN WAY, COMPARTMENTALIZE IT AND KIND OF GO, "COPS ARE THE PEOPLE WHO SEE HORRIFIC THINGS EVERY DAY "AND JUST GO HOME TO THEIR WIFE AND KIDS "AND PUT IT AWAY." YOU DON'T THINK, "OH, YEAH, I KNOW THEY SEE THAT "AND I KNOW THAT THEY HAVE A WAY OF DEALING WITH IT." WE JUST ASSUME THAT THEY HAVE A WAY OF DEALING WITH IT. SO...

Colin says WELL, ONE COP SAID THAT HE HAD A DARK SENSE OF HUMOUR AND THAT'S, I GUESS, HOW HE WAS ABLE TO COPE WITH IT.

In a recorded clip, a male police officer says IF YOU HAVE A GOOD SENSE OF HUMOUR, YOU CAN WALK AWAY FROM A DEATH AND FORGET ABOUT IT IN TEN SECONDS. RIGHT? SOME THINGS YOU CAN'T. BUT YOU CAN WALK AWAY FROM ONE. YOU CAN WALK AWAY FROM A SHOOTING.

Alan says HOW DOES A SENSE OF HUMOUR HELP?

The police officer says WELL, IT MAKES YOU LAUGH. YOU... YOU FIND REASONS TO LAUGH. I ALWAYS DID, RIGHT FROM DAY ONE.

The clip ends.

Alan says THE DARK SENSE OF HUMOUR, I'M SURE, HELPS IN THE MOMENT, BUT I DON'T BELIEVE EVEN, LIKE... I'M NOT SAYING I DON'T BELIEVE THAT GUY. YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THIS GUY ED. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT THE DARK SENSE OF HUMOUR ENTIRELY DOES AWAY WITH IT. LIKE, THE FUNNY THING ABOUT THE DARK SENSE OF HUMOUR IS I'M JEWISH AND, YOU KNOW, JEWS INVENTED THE DARK SENSE OF HUMOUR AND POPULARIZED IT AROUND THE WORLD. AND YES, IT HELPS IN THE MOMENT, BUT IT DOESN'T... IT DOESN'T HAVE PERMANENT... YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT LIKE LYSOL - MODERN REFERENCE - YOU CAN JUST CLEAN IT... IT DOESN'T CLEAN IT AWAY. IT HIDES IT FOR A WHILE. IT PUTS IT, YOU KNOW... PUTS IT IN YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS FOR A WHILE, WHERE IT'S GONNA COME BACK. AND THE POLTERGEIST STORY IS THAT ONE OF THE GUYS IN THE FILM, K.R., TOLD ME ABOUT A POLTERGEIST SIGHTING IN... I THINK IT'S IN ST. CATHERINE'S, MAY HAVE BEEN NIAGARA FALLS. BUT HE TOLD ME A STORY ABOUT A POLTERGEIST IN A BUILDING THAT WAS BASICALLY... TOOK OVER A YOUNG BOY, AND THE PIPES RATTLED, AND THEY BROUGHT IN PRIESTS AND THEY BROUGHT IN SOME PLUMBERS AND EVERYTHING TO SEE, LIKE, WHAT... IF THERE WAS ANY NATURAL EXPLANATION. AND WHEN I TOLD HIM, YOU KNOW, LIKE, "OF COURSE, I DON'T BELIEVE YOU," HE SAID, "WELL, I KNEW YOU WOULDN'T," THEN HE SHOWED ME A POLICE REPORT AND THERE WAS A POLICE REPORT.

A male voice says AND THE GUY STARTED HIS REPORT, "I AM CONSTABLE WEIR OF A SOUND MIND," THAT'S HOW HE STARTED HIS REPORT.
(CARS WHOOSHING BY)
OKAY, HERE, SEE THIS PIZZA? IT'S FUNNY IT'S CALLED PIZZA PETER BECAUSE THAT WAS THE CODENAME OF THE BOY AFTERWARDS. UPSTAIRS, THEY'D RENTED THE APARTMENT, BUT THERE WAS SOME TYPE OF POWER IN THAT APARTMENT WHEN THEY RENTED IT. AND AFTER THE BOY LEFT OR THEY HAD TO MOVE OUT BECAUSE OF IT, WHEN THEY MOVED OUT, IT NEVER BOTHERED THEM AGAIN. SO, EVEN THE POLICE REPORT SAYS HE WAS POSSESSED.

Alan continues SO, UM, THAT DOESN'T MEAN... THAT DOESN'T MEAN IT'S MORE TRUE, BUT IT MEANS THAT THERE WERE A BUNCH OF PEOPLE WHO BELIEVED IT ENOUGH TO SUBMIT A POLICE REPORT.

Colin says THERE WAS ONE COP IN THE FILM WHO SAID THAT COPS ARE THE BEST LIARS, AND SO I WONDERED IF MAYBE HE WAS PULLING YOUR TAIL. ALTHOUGH, IF THERE WAS A POLICE REPORT, I GUESS THEY BELIEVED IT ENOUGH.

Alan says YEAH. WELL, NO, COPS ARE... COPS ARE DEFINITELY GOOD LIARS. I DON'T KNOW IF THEY'RE BETTER THAN SOME OTHER PEOPLE I'VE RUN INTO. I'M NOT GONNA NAME THE PEOPLE. BUT THEY'RE... YOU KNOW, PEOPLE WHO HAVE TO LIE GET GOOD AT IT. I'LL JUST PUT IT THAT WAY. HE WOULDN'T HAVE TOLD THE STORY... YEAH. I DON'T THINK HE WOULD HAVE TOLD THAT STORY UNLESS... NOW, I'M NOT... YOU KNOW, THAT GUY, THAT WAS INTERESTING ABOUT THAT GUY BECAUSE HE'S... HE'S ONE OF TWO PEOPLE IN THE FILM WHO, AFTER RETIRING, BECAME A MINISTER. SO, HE'S DEEPLY RELIGIOUS AND I THOUGHT... I DON'T KNOW IF BEING DEEPLY RELIGIOUS MAKES YOU MORE OR LESS READY TO BELIEVE IN POLTERGEISTS, BUT I SUPPOSE IF YOU BELIEVE IN SATAN, YOU MIGHT BELIEVE IN POLTERGEISTS. SO, THAT... THAT... THAT MAY HELP EXPLAIN WHY HE BELIEVED IT. BUT LIKE I SAY, HE KNEW I WOULDN'T BEL... HE PLANNED TO TELL ME THAT STORY, HE PLANNED TO SHOW ME WHERE IT HAPPENED, AND PART OF HIS PLAN WAS TO GIVE ME A POLICE REPORT TO PROVE THAT AT LEAST, YOU KNOW, A NUMBER OF COPS HAD BELIEVED IT ENOUGH TO SIGN OFF ON THIS REPORT.

Colin says HOW DO WOMEN ON THE JOB EXPERIENCE IT COMPARED TO THE MEN?

Alan says WELL, YOU KNOW, THE THING ABOUT ALL THIS IS A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE FILM WERE TALKING ABOUT CAREERS THAT WENT BACK TO THE 1980S AND THEY'RE ALL... EVERYBODY IN THE FILM IS RETIRED AND SOME HAVE RETIRED WITHIN THE LAST 15 YEARS AND SOME MORE RECENTLY. UM, WHEN PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE WOULD OFTEN ASK, "HAS IT GOTTEN BETTER FOR WOMEN? "HAS IT GOTTEN BETTER FOR MINORITIES? "HAS IT GOTTEN BETTER FOR, UM, "PEOPLE ACCEPTING PTSD? "HAS IT GOTTEN BETTER FOR PEOPLE ACCEPTING "THAT YOU HAVE BEEN EMOTIONALLY AFFECTED?" SO THE ANSWER WOULD BE A LITTLE BIT BUT NOT AS MUCH AS YOU'D HOPE OR EXPECT. FOR PTSD AND THINGS LIKE THAT, THEY PROBABLY HAVE COMI... THEY'VE HAD MANY ROYAL COMMISSIONS, THEY'VE HAD MANY RECOMMENDATIONS. BUT ON THE GROUND, COP TO COP, GO SEE YOUR BRASS, LIKE, CAN YOU GO AND TELL THEM THAT YOU'RE... THAT YOU'VE BEEN DEEPLY AFFECTED BY SOMETHING AND YOU'RE HAVING SUICIDAL THOUGHTS, AND DA-DA-DA, AND HAVE THEM, YOU KNOW, LIKE... YEAH, THEY 'LL PULL YOU OFF THE STREET AND PUT YOU ON A DESK AND THEN YOU'LL FEEL LIKE A PARIAH. LIKE, I DON'T KNOW EXACTLY, BUT I'M TOLD THAT IN THAT AREA, IT HASN'T GOTTEN MUCH BETTER. FOR WOMEN, I CAN'T HELP BUT IMAGINE THAT MORE WOMEN ON THE FORCE MEANS LESS, UM, PREJUDICE, LESS DERISION, LESS MISOGYNY. I'M SURE THERE IS.

Colin says WELL, YOU MENTIONED SOME OF THE FEEDBACK YOU HEARD WAS THAT SOME COPS WERE SAYING, "WELL, YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TOLD THAT STORY, KEEP THAT INSIDE." BUT HAVE YOU HEARD ANY OTHER FEEDBACK FROM EITHER THE PEOPLE IN THE FILM OR OTHER POLICE OFFICERS?

Alan says UM, YEAH. I'VE HAD, UM... I'VE HAD A FEW COPS COME UP TO ME AT SCREENINGS AND THANK ME. ONE THAT I FOUND MOST MOVING WAS AT A SCREENING AT THE BLOOR, WHEN THERE... LIKE, FOUR FEMALE COPS CAME UP TO ME AND THANKED ME, AND ONE OF THEM WAS ON LEAVE, UM, FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL REASONS. I BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THE FILM HAVE GOTTEN A LOT OF THANK YOUS AND SOME OF THE THANK YOUS HAVE COME FROM COPS. WHEN THE FILM FIRST PLAYED ON TVO, IMMEDIATELY I GOT ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE A THING FROM A COP WHO SAID HE'S GOT A FACEBOOK PAGE WITH COPS WHO THINK LIKE HIM AND YOU SHOULD SEE WHAT WE'RE SAYING ABOUT YOUR FILM ON THAT PAGE, WHICH WAS NEGATIVE, DEFINITELY. AND THEN, HE TOLD ME ABOUT HIS BOOK THAT HE WROTE AND THAT HE WAS A COP FOR 35 YEARS AND NONE OF THAT EVER HAPPENED TO HIM, AND GOOD FOR YOU. LIKE, I'VE MET COPS WHO SAY THEY WENT THROUGH IT UNSCATHED. NOW, SOME OF THE GUYS IN MY FILM, I KNOW THEY WOULD SAY, "WELL, THAT GUY WAS PROBABLY BRASS "FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS OF HIS LIFE. "HE WASN'T ON THE STREET. "HE WASN'T... " YOU KNOW, "HE WASN'T UNDER THE PRESSURE WE WERE UNDER." ANYWAY, YEAH, SO I'VE GOTTEN NEGATIVE FEEDBACK AND I'VE GOTTEN POSITIVE FEEDBACK AND IT'S BEEN MORE POSITIVE THAN NEGATIVE, BUT THEN PEOPLE DON'T... YOU KNOW, PEOPLE DON'T COME UP TO YOU IN THE STREET AND TELL YOU, "I HATED YOUR FILM," GENERALLY. GENERALLY, YOU ONLY GET POSITIVE. YOU DON'T HEAR ABOUT ALL THE PEOPLE THAT HATE IT.

Colin says NO, I THINK YOU SHOULD BE PROUD OF IT. I WAS REALLY MOVED BY IT. AND I THINK WE KIND OF HAVE TO CLOSE NOW, BUT IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU'D LIKE TO LEAVE OUR LISTENERS WITH? ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT THIS FILM? ANY LAST IMPRESSIONS OR THOUGHTS?

Alan says NO, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO LEAVE THEM WITH THE FACT THAT, IF IT WEREN'T FOR TVO, A LOT OF FILMMAKERS WOULD NOT HAVE HAD A CAREER, AND I CAN'T... ANYBODY LISTENING TO THIS THAT SUPPORTS TVO, OR SENDS MONEY, OR WHATEVER, YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW IMPORTANT TVO IS TO ONTARIO COMMUNITY OF FILMMAKERS. THANK YOU, TVO AND THANK YOU TO THE LISTENERS AND SUPPORTERS.

Colin says WELL, THANK YOU, ALAN.

Alan says THANK YOU.

(FUNK MUSIC PLAYING)

Colin says AND THAT'S THE PODCAST. COPPERS IS NOW STREAMING ON TVO.ORG. IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU HEARD, LEAVE US A FIVE STAR REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS AND BETTER YET, TELL A FRIEND. WE HAVE ANOTHER NEW EPISODE OF ON DOCS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD RIGHT NOW. IT'S AN INTERVIEW WITH FOOD WRITER SURESH DOSS ON THE 2011 DOCUMENTARY JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI. AND IF YOU WANT MORE ON DOCS CONTENT, YOU CAN FIND EPISODES ON OUR WEBSITE AT TVO.ORG, FEATURING INTERVIEWS WITH AI WEIWEI, ASTRA TAYLOR AND MUCH MORE. THIS PODCAST WAS PRODUCED BY MATTHEW O'MARA AND ME. OUR PRODUCTION SUPPORT COORDINATORS NIKKI ASHWORTH AND JONATHAN HALLIWELL. OUR SERIES PRODUCER IS KATIE O'CONNOR AND OUR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR DIGITAL IS KATHY VEY. WE'LL CATCH YOU AT THE NEXT SCREENING.

(FUNK MUSIC PLAYING)

Watch: Ep. 2 - Coppers: An arresting look at retired cops