Santa Barbara City Administrator Jim Armstrong this week was half a step away from pulling the plug on On Patrol, the reality-based TV show based on the Santa Barbara Police Department. The show’s producer, Ira Distenfield, was $32,000 behind in his payments to City Hall. The show’s contract expired this May and Armstrong—after consulting with Police Chief Cam Sanchez—said he would decline to to renew it. A last-minute influx of cash, however, saved the program. Distenfield had noted that the show made payments of $50,000 to City Hall during its four years on the air, and had provided the Police Department with excellent publicity.


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