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.

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.

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

“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 town’s police force, serving 1,600 people in Scotts Bluff County, logs less than 100 crimes each year but the department takes on a multitude of other tasks assigned by the community to help keep the community safe, clean and healthy.

7:00pm MT on NET1