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'Alaska PD': Understaffed cops deal with domestic violence, armed suspects and giant bears

Updated: Jan 10

A&E's new police reality show 'Alaska PD' follows real police officers from The Last Frontier who respond to some very dangerous situations that can go south within the blink of an eye.

By Priyam Chhetri


One thing that new recruits have to learn from being a copper in Alaska is that it is not like anywhere they've ever been. A&E's new police reality show produced by the team at Engel Entertainment, 'Alaska PD,' follows the very real police officers from The Last Frontier who respond to some very dangerous situations that can go south within the blink of an eye. If that wasn't enough, there are bears, one for every four people in some places.


The premiere episode - which aired on New Year's Day - follows the police officers in Kodiak and Fairbanks as the understaffed police force tries their best to uphold the rule of the law. We meet patrol officer Gerrit Butler of the Fairbanks Police Department, Sergeant Mike Sortor and Officer Jamie Ramos, the only female officer in the community of Kodiak.


The one-hour episode switches from the two departments but the one constant factor between the two remains the same — the looming threat of literally anything and everything going terribly wrong.


They respond to two bear calls this episode, and in both situations, the cops use blanks to scare off the animals, instead of hurting them. Some of them grow up to 10 feet tall and weigh 1,500 pounds. The cops also share some trivia and tidbits about their job like tasing a person when he's violently fighting back and resisting arrest. "Sometimes, it is the safest way to solve the problem," says former MMA student and officer Butler.  


Some calls involve an intoxicated man passed out on the sidewalk, but because it is not a crime in Alaska, they let him go home because he is able to get up and walk. 

But not all their calls are quite that simple.


In one of the calls that they respond to, a domestic violence incident appears to have the potential to escalate very quickly. A 911 call reports a woman screaming and running down the street without her shoes on, blood streaming down her face. She was so injured she landed in the hospital. The caller informs law enforcement that it appeared that her boyfriend had tried to strangle her and beat her. He was armed with a gun and a knife and was wanted for kidnapping and assault. 


Domestic violence is rampant in Fairbanks, says Bulter, adding that they are one of the most dangerous situations because of "emotions running high". In another incident handled expertly by Butler, a man who had been arrested thrice in the past for domestic violence had been hitting a woman in the car.



A lengthy rap sheet full of multiple felony assaults and a suspect who is armed and clearly emotionally unstable can go very wrong — and the cops take precautions and go in a larger number than their usual. However, they don't find him at home. A manhunt began for the suspect and in the end, the officers nab him in a sports good store. 


This adrenaline rush of a show is a must-watch! 

Catch new episodes of 'Alaska PD' on Thursdays at 9 pm EST on A&E.


For more information about 'Alaska PD,' check out the original article by Priyam Chhetri here!


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