By Bill Donovan
So after airing a one-hour documentary on the subject in May, the cable channel has now ordered another six episodes of the reality series "Navajo Cops."
Crews from Flight 33 Productions, which did the first show, are now on the reservation and will spend the next several weeks filming Navajo police in the Crownpoint and Tuba City districts as they go about their duties.
"National Geographic was happy with the response of the first show," said producer Sam Dolan. "It really held its audience and the word-of-mouth attracted people to watch it."
What made that first show so unique, he said, was that it gave the audience a look at a different type of police operation, showing Navajo officers dealing with typical problems while at the same time being true to their culture.
"That show gave Hillerman fans a chance to see a police officer in action," Dolan said.
Reality shows based on law enforcement are very popular right now and the National Geographic Channel has seen good ratings with shows like "Border Wars," which shows the U.S. Border Patrol in action.
Dolan said that when he was growing up in northern Arizona, he was a fan of the Hillerman books and when his father, who also works with the production company, were trying to think of a program that would fit in with NatGeo, the discussions soon focused on a program showing the Navajo police in action.
Below: Wes Studi as Joe Leaphorn.