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Birmingham mayor doesn't want police on TV reality show

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — Birmingham Mayor Bernard Kincaid said Tuesday he doesn't approve of plans for an A&E Network reality television series to follow city police detectives as they track killers in the first days after they are called to a homicide.

Kincaid said only the mayor can sign documents binding the city to agreements and that Police Chief Annetta Nunn exceeded her authority when she agreed to allow crews from the "The First 48" to film detectives.

"The law department advised me that the police chief does not have that authority," Kincaid said. "Quite frankly I do not support it."

The Birmingham News reported on its Web site that Kincaid also questioned the impact cameras would have on active investigations.

Police had said they would have a say in the final editing.

"We won't allow anything to compromise an investigation," Nunn said in an earlier interview.

Birmingham episodes of the show were to be filmed over the next 15 weeks and scheduled to air as early as June. The show focuses on the initial 48 hours of an investigation when leads are vital; as time goes by, chances of solving a crime fall.

Nunn said the department wanted to show viewers the importance of community help in solving homicides. A chief complaint of police detectives is that citizens with vital information often fail to come forward.

"It gives people a chance to see why time is critical in gathering information and why they need to get it to us as soon as possible," Nunn said.

A series executive said it tries to show the gritty side of the detective's job.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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