The Mitchell Police Department is featured prominently in a documentary on the evolution of law enforcement in small communities across Nebraska that hits the big screen Wednesday night in Chadron.
“Small Town Cops” debuts at the Chadron State College Student Center Ballroom at 6 p.m., part of Nebraska Educational Television’s “On the Road” series.
Documentary Producer Bill Kelly tells KNEB News the veteran officers he spoke with told him the days of new officers getting handcuffs, a gun, and keys to a patrol car have long since passed. “The training itself has evolved for things like knowledge of the law, technology is a huge driver,” says Kelly. “The fact that law enforcement is now dealing so many calls dealing with mentally ill individuals, that was a result of a change in state law about 15 years ago.”
Kelly says one of the major changes having an impact on public safety and policing is the trend of small towns completely eliminating police departments and turning over law enforcement duties to the counties.
The documentary will also be shown May 31st at the Nile Theater in Mitchell as part of the NET road trip series of events across the state.