Paul Rabwin

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Paul Rabwin is a producer who worked in "CHiPs" as co-producer, since the second season. During an interview he said:

“I loved CHiPS. What I really liked about the scripts I was reading was that the concept of camaraderie was very important. It was the idea of law enforcement being helpful and responsible without being violent. I was coming off of detective shows and Hill Street Blues was coming on at the time. To me they were all a little violent. I don't recall CHiPS ever pulling guns. We didn't want to make that the focal point. It was about two cops who worked really, really well together. Each had different skills, and they complimented each other. And they wanted to be a part of the community they served. I thought that was very responsible television, and I respected that.”

“We had as a chief advisor, Dave McDannel, who was an active member of the highway patrol. All of the stories had his input and he gave the producers many, many ideas; things that we would never think of that were based on reality. He supervised the operations of the set and we always made a point of staying within the basic guidelines of the highway patrol. He was the watchdog, advisor, and the voice of the CHP on CHiPs. It was accuracy in the middle of an entertainment program. We were commended many times from CHP and law enforcement because the show actually helped improve their recruitment efforts. We felt we were doing our part. It wasn't really the purpose of (the show) but it was nice offshoot.”

“One of my favorite episodes was inspired by a friend of mine whose parents were deaf. She was telling me about the time her father was driving and he wasn't paying attention, and the cops were trying to pull him over. He couldn't hear the sirens. When he realized they were signaling him he finally pulled over. Things got more complicated because it was a sunny day and, as the officer tried to tell him to get out of the car, the sun made it so he couldn't see the officer. He couldn't speak because he was deaf and the officer thought he was drunk. The officer ended up pulling him from the car. From this story we got a wonderful script about being deaf and driving. We gave it a twist, though, by making the deaf driver very obnoxious and indignant and wanting to sue everybody. We didn't make the deaf protagonist particularly sympathetic, showing that officers deal with different situations like this every day. It made for a very interesting story in itself, but what pulled it together was that at the end of the episode Jon and Ponch are separated and need to communicate by means other then speech. They end up doing so by using techniques they learned in the deaf world. We demonstrated how officers can learn something new every day; and apply that to their profession. Ponch and Jon learned how to use body language, sign language, and non-verbal communication.”

“It was easy for Rick (Rosner) because he came from that world". (Rick is an ex deputy of the LASO) "In my case I joined from the entertainment side. I absolutely have very high regard for law enforcement, and I learned a lot from working on the series. I served in the Marine Corps. I remember that in the late 60s to early 70s law enforcement officers weren't very popular. As civilians we think that we're just normal guys and we pose no threat. But the reality is, when you wear that uniform and badge, every stop you make, no matter how innocuous, is a potential disaster in waiting.”

“We did unusual things. No one would ever really think of CHiPs as a groundbreaking series, but we did things that were different at the time. We'd do some creative shots, where they'd come toward us on bikes and shoot past. We put in this huge roar as they went by, then sound effects would fade away and lead to music. It was very different. The cars would go in slow motion and we'd drop all sound. Silence – unit the impact of the crash – all those little tricks cinematically created a piece of television art.”

“CHiPs was one of Alan's (Silvestri) earliest projects. He took our original theme and rearranged it, gave it that synthesizer and upbeat disco feel, and infused a real sense of contemporaneousness in the series. He brought the music into its time and attracted a good audience. I never underestimate his contribution to the show.”

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