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New A&E show set in Alaska aims to help recruitment, humanize officers

‘Alaska PD’ highlights the challenges faced by law enforcement officers in four Alaskan cities


By Amanda Lien

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — “Alaska PD,” a new TV show from A&E, follows officers from four Alaskan police departments – Fairbanks, Kodiak, Kotzebue and Petersburg – as they perform their duties.

While many of the tasks for police in the Lower 48 and Alaska are the same, the challenges are different – and that is what producers told KTVF they wanted to highlight.

“The series aims to show how law enforcement works in Alaska. It’s different than it is in the Lower 48,” the show’s producer John X. Kim told KTVF.

Producer Stephanie Angelides said she came up with the idea for the show when she was reading an article about how Alaskan police departments struggle to recruit officers who want to live and work in remote places and harsh environments. She told KTVF one of the show’s goals is to help departments recruit more people.

“We took a documentary approach, which means we are very much fly on the wall. We follow the action as it happens, we don’t inject, we don’t influence,” Angelides said. “We wanted the show to be accurate to what it’s like to be an officer in Alaska.”

Sergeant Spencer DeWaele with the Fairbanks Police Department told KTVF he wanted to take part in the show in order to help recruitment.

“Trying to gain more recruits and advertising for the department...I thought that it would be good to be part of something to gain new hires,” DeWaele said. “I really do hope there is a second season where we can continue where we left off, maybe showcase a little bit of summertime.”

Fairbanks Police Chief Nancy Reeder told KTVF she was glad to see a show that accurately portrays what Alaskan law enforcement work is like.

“It’s a front seat to what officers deal with on a day to day basis – to people we deal with, the good things we do, the inclement weather we have here in the Interior of Alaska and how that’s problematic for us at times,” she said.

“Alaska PD” airs on A&E Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST.