NatGeo Goes Behind First Lines of Defense in New Series 'Alaska State Troopers'

They are the first line of defense on the last frontier, the roughly 400 state troopers who patrol the rugged and unforgiving terrain of America's largest state -- Alaska. One of the toughest law enforcement agencies in the nation, these officers often travel hundreds of miles in piercing subzero temperatures to uphold the law. Responding by land, air and sea -- with backup sometimes days away -- they face danger to protect the people and wildlife of Alaska.

National Geographic Channel (NGC) gained rare access to this elite law enforcement agency for the new series Alaska State Troopers, airing on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning October 14, 2009. Filmed over 10 months, the series captures a mixture of raw nature and criminal activity throughout the Alaskan wilderness and its remote villages. NGC follows state troopers from two divisions within the storied organization: the "blue shirt" Alaska State Troopers, who police the towns and villages, as well as the "brown shirt" Alaska Wildlife Troopers, who enforce fish and game regulations for both commercial and sport activities.

In each episode, we'll meet these brave men and women to share "a day-in-the-life" of an Alaska State Trooper. The vast distances, rugged terrain and brutal weather require officers to respond via snowmobiles, boats, planes and helicopters to handle any and every scenario. While out on the graveyard shift, a trooper comes to the aid of an injured "truck-tuber" (a person on an inner tube pulled by a truck along a snow-covered road). Drama unfolds when 13 troopers are tasked with keeping the peace among an estimated 10,000 people at Alaska's version of "spring break." Travel to isolated Native communities -- where alcohol fuels more than 95 percent of all crime -- to enforce a prohibition ban.

In a state where just about every resident is armed, any scenario a trooper confronts could be fatal. Wildlife Trooper Sgt. Scott Quist explains what it's like approaching hunters: "One thing that's a little bit different about our version of law enforcement is that when we go on patrol, when we contact people we know a few things. We know that they will have guns, they will have knives, and they'll know how to use them."

Whether performing search and rescue missions on a frozen river or arresting a snowmobiler for a DUI, the challenges an Alaska State Trooper faces are diverse, but one thing is for sure -- these are not your average cops.

Premiere Episodes Include:

Alaska State Troopers: Ice Patrol
Wednesday, October 14, at 10 p.m. ET/PT

 Some call it Alaska's version of spring break -- the annual Arctic Man Ski and Sno-Go Classic. For four days, the remote Hoodoo Mountains are transformed into the state's fourth largest city. We'll join troopers patrolling this rowdy festival, where roughly 10,000 people convene for physically demanding winter sports. It's up to just 13 troopers to keep the peace, enforce the laws and perform dangerous search and rescue missions. Then in Fairbanks, troopers and their K-9 partners fight crime and search suspicious vehicles, while others undergo a frosty nighttime training exercise. And wildlife troopers have their hands full during the moose-hunting season: They're on the case when several illegally killed animals are discovered.

Alaska State Troopers: Crime on the Kenai
Wednesday, November 4, at 10p.m. ET/PT

Unforgiving terrain mixed with big city crime makes challenging work for troopers in Soldotna, a city on the Kenai Peninsula. Trooper Brent Hatch responds to an ATV accident where an intoxicated youth lashes out. After a struggle, the youth ends up inside the walls of Wildwood Pretrial Facility. Then, a trooper investigates a collision between a motorcyclist and a semitruck, while another tracks down an 11-year-old runaway. Several troopers spend hours searching pitch-black woods for a suspect who has previously assaulted an officer, and a wildlife trooper hits the waterways of the Kenai River. Alaska has the highest rate of missing persons reports in the country, and troopers are responsible for search and rescue missions. They must take to the skies to find two hunters stranded in the southeastern wilderness, an area with one of the highest concentrations of bear maulings in Alaska.

Alaska State Troopers: Frontier Force
Wednesday, November 11, at 10 p.m. ET/PT

In this episode, recruits learn what it takes to become an Alaska State Trooper. They are tested mentally, physically, and emotionally -- culminating in a two-and-a-half-day survival exercise. With only the clothes on their backs and a small survival kit, they'll learn how to build a shelter and scavenge for food in the frigid and unforgiving Alaskan wilderness. Then, Wildlife Trooper Sgt. Scott Quist and his detachment patrol an area south of Fairbanks in search of big game hunters who break the rules. Out-of-state hunters will pay guides as much as $20,000 to shoot big game, but it's up to the troopers to enforce the regulations. There's never a dull moment on the graveyard shift in the Mat-Su Valley. We'll ride along with a trooper to come to the aid of a snowmobiler who split his forehead open on a wire cable. Then, we participate in a search and rescue under the thick ice of the Yukon River, and patrolmen contend with the ultimate roadkill ... a massive moose.

-press release

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