“Navajo Cops” premieres 10 p.m. Monday on the National Geographic Channel and features some of the tribal department’s 330 men and women on patrol.
The show follows officers as they provide services and respond to calls across the sprawling reservation. About 180,000 residents live on the nation’s largest Indian reservation, which extends across parts of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The officers have to balance modern law enforcement with ancient customs.
“I think one of the most eye-opening things for us was that, if you live in a big city, you’re used to police officers having partners, working in pairs,” show producer and director Sam Dolan told the Farmington Daily Times (http://bit.ly/zjdK9x). “On Navajo, they’re out there by themselves. There could be 50 miles in between officers. They make huge sacrifices, and it’s a very dangerous job.”
'Navajo Cops,' off the reservation
Hypes the suspense element with scant effect
By Tom Conroy
That's one of the challenges facing the National Geographic Channel's new series "Navajo Cops." Like most cop documentaries, it is long on buildup but short on payoff. But when it ventures off into "Ghost Hunters" territory, it loses even the usual hyped-up suspense. The few insights into Navajo culture don't compensate for the general lethargy.
Premiering tonight at 10, the series follows cops as they patrol the huge Navajo reservation, which contains parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah and is the largest Indian reservation in the country. Most of the footage is shot at night, helping to heighten the moments of tension that occur just before the uneventful conclusions.
The premiere episode follows several plot lines. First, Officers Philbert Toddy and Genevieve Morgan pursue some suspects in what the narrator somewhat hyperbolically calls an attempted murder. In fact, it was a dispute among neighbors. The alleged target knew the man she thinks shot at her from a distance.