NET’s ‘Small Town Cops’ Explores Change in Rural Law Enforcement

News Release Date: 
June 27, 2019

For Immediate Release

NET’s ‘Small Town Cops’ Explores Change in Rural Law Enforcement

LINCOLN, Neb. (June 27, 2019) – Today’s small town cops must prepare for any situation facing a big city officer. NET, Nebraska’s PBS and NPR Stations, considers the shifting role of police work in Nebraska’s rural areas in the new documentary “Small Town Cops,” premiering at 8 p.m. CT on Thursday, July 11 on NET.

Small Town Cops Thursday, July 11, 8pm CT NET

Even in the safest communities where everyone knows everyone else, police must train to prepare for school shootings, encounters with drug smugglers along Interstate 80, traffic stops gone awry, high-speed pursuits and an increasing number of calls involving mental illness. It’s a changing job in a complex world, and rural law enforcement must plan and train for situations that were once unthinkable.

“It’s a scary thought to think that it’s going to happen in our town,” said Officer Regina Preston with the Mitchell, Neb., police department. The small city of 1,600 people in Scotts Bluff County experiences less than 100 crimes each year and the last murder in Mitchell was in 2011 – but law enforcement still prepares for the unknown.

In “Small Town Cops,” experienced and newly-trained officers explain what’s different and why they still believe in serving their communities and keeping them safe.

“The ones that are on the beat are now tasked with more responsibility than has ever occurred in the history of American law enforcement,” said Mike Kerby, an instructor with the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center (NLETC) in Grand Island, where there is training for ordinary and extraordinary situations.

“Small Town Cops” explores how officers analyze risk and approach dangerous scenes during active shooter training at the NLETC. Plus, see how shrinking populations and budgetary concerns have pushed communities such as David City and Fairbury to replace their local police forces with a county sheriff.

“Small Town Cops” repeats at these times: 1 p.m. CT, Sunday, July 14 on NET; 1 p.m. CT, Monday, July 15 on NET World; 8 p.m. CT, Tuesday, July 16 on NET World; and 9 p.m. CT, Friday, July 19 on NET.

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MEDIA CONTACT:  Kim Rogers, 402-660-5521,


NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Stations, is the statewide public media service dedicated to creating opportunities for Nebraskans to engage with critical issues, compelling stories and quality entertainment. NET serves each of Nebraska’s 93 counties with 52,560 hours of programming each year on four television and two radio channels, plus online and mobile content. In addition to providing free, high-quality educational programming for children, NET provides programming in the arts, award-winning news and current affairs information and emergency alert services. For more information about NET, visit