The news is out: [When Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody needed a star to represent his department on the reality show “Live PD,” he found one in a tough-talking deputy he hired months before.
Mark Luera joined the force in November 2017, about 10 months before TV cameras began rolling on patrols in the largely suburban county north of Austin, Texas.
Soon, Luera was a fixture in olive-green tactical gear narrating harrowing scenes during high-risk arrests and home invasions to highlight the dangers and drama of police work.
“A true leader,” Chody captioned a selfie of the two in June 2019. In another post, Chody called Luera a “Wilco Rock Star.”
The department’s star is also a disgraced former city of Austin police officer whom Chody hired days after the city had been set to fire him for using his special airport access to bypass security, then repeatedly lying about it.
In the past three years, Chody has hired at least a dozen officers with checkered pasts to his force of 550.
In most instances, those deputies have quietly worked off camera with no subsequent allegations of misconduct.
But in others, Chody, who pursued the highly-rated reality show to showcase his department, appeared to gamble on applicants who were willing to play to a TV audience. Former employees say that at times he treated deputies’ application process as “Live PD” casting calls rather than assessing their temperament for sound law enforcement.]
What they lack in intelligence, they make up for it in ego.