Anyone familiar with the show Cops will recognize the concept for this program, but that is where the similarities end. Steve Sxwithul’txw, creator and producer of APTN’s Tribal Police Files states:
“There was a lot of stuff we left on the cutting room floor because it was too intense or it was too graphic and I am fine with that. Cops in the U.S. might be saying ‘that is gold, that is money we are going to use it.’ I chose not to, simply because the dignity of the people was more important to me than great TV ratings. When they say, ‘Hey shut that camera off,’ we are shutting it off and we are not following that story because of the sensitivity of the situation.”
Instead of sensationalist footage, Tribal Police Files depicts both the mundanity of police work and the risks inherent to the lives of police officers. Viewers follow along with officers as they receive a call, but we also get to know the families of officers. You will, over the course of this series, grow to relate with the characters who are themselves the officers. We gain access to their lives.
The mandate of the officers of Stl’atl’imx Nation is to remember where the people have been. If alcohol is involved, the officers understand the person who is intoxicated is intoxicated for a reason. A lot of the journey many of Stl’atl’imx Nation have had has been negative. You need to understand that there is a great deal of pain and hurt with the people these officers come into contact with on a daily basis. This group of officers from Stl’atl’imx Nation take pride that this is not a police force but rather a police service.
Tribal Police Files puts a human face to policing on “the rez” and drives home the point that not only are the constables doing a job but that they too have a family and loved ones.
“I want to bring across a show that is respectful, that respect the people of the Stl’atl’imx Nation, and the officers especially,” Sxwithul’txw says. Most of the officers are from the area and know the people they deal with on a first-name basis. They understand the history.
Promotional behind the scenes clips can be seen at the Tribal Police Files Website
Tribal Police Files airs Fridays at 7:30 p.m. ET on APTN.