This is one of those questions we are asked all the time and the answer is very simple, NO. The film and television companies that come to town may have a need from time to time for streets closures, traffic control, or security. Police officers or deputy sheriffs are hired on a contract basis with the city or county at no cost to the tax payer. A request is sent out with dates that are needed for coverage. Off duty police officers and deputies can choose to work on their days off for extra money. According to the Wilmington Government Website here is the pay rate for first responders.
Police Officers: $30.00/hour (4 hour minimum)
Marked Patrol Vehicles: $25.00 for 4 hours
or a $50.00 flat rate fee for 4 plus hours
Fire Inspector: $25.00/hour
(Special Inspection, Pre-production) $30.00/hour
Fire Truck: $200.00/hour
This is not something that just happens in Wilmington, but it goes on statewide. Film gives them a chance to earn extra bonus money. Speaking with some police officers just today on this subject they are very happy to be working on “Sleepy Hollow” this close to Christmas because it takes a little load off when the holiday pressure is on. They also really enjoy the work in a low risk environment. They enjoy eating with the cast and crew which is always a bonus, and all of the police officers we spoke to today stated they feel highly respected by the production team. We always hear members of the police and fire department are under paid for putting their lives on the line. Film and Television provides opportunities for these tireless workers to increase their income with little risk involved.