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3 things to know about ‘Deputy Butterbean’

Live from TCA press tour: Eric Esch, a 400-pound pro fighter, looks to KO crime on new series ‘Big Law: Deputy Butterbean’

This isn’t ‘Steven Seagal: Lawman’

Esch, who goes by “Butterbean” or “Bean,” was deputized about a year and a half before cameras came to Walker County, Alabama, where he serves as a reserve deputy sheriff.

“I did this because it’s my hometown,” he says, insisting the law enforcement job isn’t a reality TV stunt. “I live there,” he explains. “I have kids that have to grow up. I have grandkids there. The reason I started helping Adam [Hadder, Butterbean’s best friend and partner on the force] in the drug unit is because I want to make it a better place, get rid of a lot of the drugs. If I can make a little bit of change in the town that I live in, OK.”

Butterbean calls his involvement with the Walker County police a “selfish” endeavor because “I want a better place than everybody else has and I’m proud to help out,” he says. “A lot of the other reality shows, they’re just doing it just to be on TV. I did it before the TV. I did it because I care about my town. I mean, the only bad thing about the show that’s going to come from it, more people’s gonna want to move there. But, you know, if they’re good people, we don’t mind.”

He may be a former super heavyweight boxing champion, but he doesn’t want to fight you

“I’m a levelheaded guy,” says Butterbean. “The fighters that have problems [with people wanting to pick fights] are the ones with the big egos. I mean, I use my brain. Your brain is what controls everything. You can talk to people like they’re human beings and don’t try to bully them around. Sometimes you have to use force. But use logic with them, then they work pretty well.”

Still, he admits, “my size kind of helps a little bit too. They don’t want to mess with me. But it really is they’re not combative. If you’re mellow with them and try to tell them what they do, they listen.”

But he is actually fighting crime

When asked about the most dangerous situation he had gotten into, Butterbean cited house entries.

“[We] executed a lot of the search warrants,” says Deputy Hadder. “Being a vice and narcotics unit, we do a lot of search warrants, high risk entries, and, of course, that’s always pretty dangerous. We actually got in a car chase during an episode, and so that’s never that fun.”

“The crazy thing,” adds Butterbean, “is I wasn’t afraid because I have a great team that I work with and they trained me well and I really had confidence in them. And hopefully they had enough confidence in me, which I’m sure they did or they wouldn’t let me be there.”

Follow Amber on Twitter: @amberatmetro

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