Kodiak police hope new reality TV show will help improve recruitment woes

From left to proper, Kodiak police chief Tim Putney and Sgt. Michael Sortor (Picture by Kavitha George / KMXT)

The cable tv community A&E is launching a brand new actuality collection referred to as "Alaska PD", after the appliance of the regulation in Kodiak, Petersburg, Kotzebue and Fairbanks. A puzzle launched final month presents the present as thrilling and dramatic, filled with wildlife and violent crimes.

Kodiak's police power is small: about 15-18 sworn officers at any time. However it’s no stranger to a tv movie crew. The division has appeared in a number of tv packages, because the program "Alaska State Soldiers"TO German reality show, to the unique, "Police", within the early 90s.

"It’s a nice curiosity for folks to see what occurs behind the works with the police," mentioned Sgt. Michael Sortor, one of many Kodiak officers featured on the present. Surveillance in rural Alaska is already very totally different from anyplace in Decrease 48. Sortor mentioned the placement solely amplifies the joy of an everyday police present.

The promotion for this system is sort of laborious with that concept.

"Alaska has essentially the most excessive climate, the hardest terrain and essentially the most violent crimes per capita than another state," says the voiceover over a collection of speedy cuts between officers operating and carrying weapons. Some cops shout at a suspect on the bottom. There’s something that appears like a automotive chase, and there’s a necessary roll of two brown bears combating.

Surveillance and high levels of violent crime These are necessary issues in elements of Alaska. In the course of the summer season, Lawyer Basic William Barr declared a "police emergency"In rural Alaska. The Division of Justice has assigned Tens of millions of to assist Alaskan native villages combat crime and violence.

However Sortor doesn't count on Kodiak's a part of the present to incorporate quite a lot of violence, and positively not automotive chases.

"Primarily bears and solely their summer season responses," he mentioned. “I feel possibly some car accidents and site visitors stops, DUI. Issues like that."

The movie crew adopted two Kodiak police shifts final spring. They armed the police vehicles with GoPros, cheated every officer and traveled in every little thing from site visitors stops to a damaged tail gentle, to an incident final Might when troopers and police have been searching a scared bear that had killed a dog in Spruce Cape.

“Nothing was staged. It actually wasn't like that, "Sortor mentioned." They went and filmed it, after which they’d do one thing with us like a report. They might say, "Inform us what occurred." So what individuals are actually seeing is what it truly is, nearly like "Cops."

Kodiak police chief Tim Putney mentioned A&E approached the town for the present in early 2018.

The primary cause they mentioned sure?

"The enchantment was positively recruitment," Putney mentioned. “I feel that not solely Kodiak or Alaska, but additionally all through the nation, I do know that many departments are having difficulties with recruitment. This was simply, you already know, this was a strategy to get free publicity. "

Putney and Sortor take nice pleasure of their metropolis, and so they each see this system as a chance to point out the neighborhood.

On the identical time, they mentioned there are elements of a Kodiak police officer's job that folks may be shocked to fulfill. A filmed site visitors cease appeared on a pound of methamphetamine, which in accordance with Kodiak police is a mirrored image of a rising drug drawback in Kodiak.

"You'll see one other aspect of Kodiak, which isn't all the time a enjoyable factor to see," Sortor mentioned. "However it’s a actuality that now we have to see so much."

However is a actuality TV present the most effective place to coach the general public about more and more pressing public issues of safety? Each officers mentioned they felt some concern about how Kodiak could be represented, however count on the viewers to look at the present with curiosity, greater than anything.

Sortor even has a warning for viewers.

"I’d inform people who in case you are studying about Kodiak, don’t rely solely on police packages. Possibly you begin with some nature reveals after which work on them. However I feel (" Alaska PD "goes to have many issues for Alaskan excellence. "

When requested in November, representatives of the A&E community refused to offer an interview for this story till December. The collection launches New 12 months's Day.

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