Sergeant Sean “Sticks” Larkin of Live PD was in town recently to appear as a commentator with host Dan Abrams and co-host Tom Morris, Jr. We caught up with him on the streets of the Big Apple and got his take on fentanyl, when to intervene if you witness an attack — and his pre-show snack of French toast.
You heard the recent news about an Ohio police officer who brushed fentanyl off his clothing hours after a traffic stop/drug bust and ended up in the hospital. How scary is that?
It’s terrifying. We get information-sharing bulletins of new crimes or new drugs that have been seen across the country. This shows the reality of how dangerous this stuff is. It’s very concerning for anyone in public safety.
It’s a tragedy that those two men were killed in Portland, Oregon, after intervening when a man was allegedly screaming Muslim insults at some women. Is there any advice you’d give civilians on getting involved in a scary public situation like this?
It’s one of those deals where every situation is different, unfortunately. Citizens get involved and stop crimes every single day and don’t have a horrific result like this one. And, for me as a grown man — not even as a police officer — if I saw a bad situation I might get involved just because it’s the right thing to do. But if someone could be armed, it is best for civilians to steer clear. Don’t get involved trying to stop a robbery. That’s property — it can be replaced. If someone is armed with a gun; that means they have an intent to inflict great harm on you. That said, I’ve heard dispatch calls, for example, that someone sees a man beating up a woman on the street. It infuriates me. People think it’s our job as the police to take care of everything. But even for me as a human being, I’m not going to sit and watch that.
When you’re in New York City, do you find yourself noticing gang-related stuff, or is it different from Tulsa?
Last time I was here I saw a legit Hell’s Angels guy. He was wearing his vest; they call them their “cuts.” Something like that stands out. I’m a police officer and I consider myself to be a decent one — the hours I’m at work. But when I’m outside of work, I try not to be in that police mode at all.
You’ve done the Live PD commentary in the studio several times now. Has it changed things for you?
Well, I’m still a father and I still have a police job. But, before this, I was not a social media person. Now I’ve started Instagram and Twitter, and it’s crazy to have 10,000 plus followers. When I came to New York City to film the show this time, people at the airport recognized me, wanted to take pictures, and said they like the show. On the street, someone passing by in an Uber yelled at me: “Live PD!” It’s kind of funny to go from being a police officer in the middle of the country to this. But I’m just going to roll with it.
One of the biggest things that has changed in being on the show as an officer on the streets is that it has humanized the police profession to people that watch it. I think that’s what’s best about this show. For a lot of people, contact with law enforcement is always a negative — a domestic violence call, a traffic stop, or their home has been robbed. This is allowing the public to see that these guys are human, funny guys — regular guys.