New TV series focuses on Tribal Police

A film crew will be in Lillooet next month to begin filming a new TV documentary series on the Stl’atl’imx Tribal Police.

The series, called “Tribal Police Files,” is the brainchild of producer Steve Sxwithul’txw, who served as an officer with the Tribal Police from 2000 to 2004.

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“Filming starts Dec. 1 and goes for two weeks,” Sxwithul’txw told the News.

“This is not like the TV show ‘Cops.’ It’s not all blood, guts and gore,” he said. “We’re focusing on the community policing model and the interaction of police officers with the community.”

He said the Stl’atl’imx Tribal Police are “so much different” than any other police force in B.C. or across Canada.

“We want to show the things they do that make them unique,” said Sxwithul’txw.

He emphasized that this will not be a so-called “reality” TV show, but an in-depth documentary series. He added that it would probably include re-enactments of some incidents.

Plans call for 13 22-minutes episodes to be filmed for the first year of the series. After the December shoot, the film crew will return to Lillooet in the spring of 2016 for two weeks of shooting. They will be back in town in early summer for the final two weeks of filming. Filming will occur in the St’at’imc communities surrounding Lillooet, but will not include the St’atl’imx Tribal Police detachment in Mt. Currie.

Sxwithul’txw expects there will 10 or 11 people – including trainees – in the crew.

The series will be broadcast on APTN; Sxwithul’txw said he hopes it will be broadcast in the fall of 2016.

Stl’atl’imx Tribal Police Chief Officer Deborah Doss-Cody says she and the three officers and staff in the Lillooet detachment are excited about the new series.

“It’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure,” she told the News. “It will cover who we are as St’at’imc, what it’s like to be the STP and how we are unique as the only tribal police force in B.C.”

She said she’s pleased that the series will also focus on aspects of St’at’imc culture and – according to APTN policy - will be translated into the St’at’imcets language.

Chief Officer Doss-Cody said she expects viewers will be surprised by some segments of the series.

“Surprisingly enough, our own people see us all the time, but I don’t think they see all the aspects of what we do.”

Steve Sxwithul’txw is the owner of Victoria-based Kwassen Productions, an up and coming film company. Its website calls Kwassen Productions “a young and thriving First Nations company. We are striving to be the best and work to exceed your expectations to the highest level of professionalism.”

Sxwithul'txw (pronounced Swee-thult) is from the Penelakut Tribe, located in the Chemainus area of Vancouver Island and on Galiano Island in the Gulf Islands.            

After working in Lillooet for the Tribal Police, he moved on to Mt. Currie and then on to the SkyTrain police in the Lower Mainland. He went back to school in 2005 and got his start in TV news in 2007, working with CTV News Vancouver as a researcher, producer and reporter.

After forming his own company, he began producing corporate videos before producing a 13-part documentary series called “Warrior Games” for APTN. He provided hosting and narration for that series and also presented, hosted and narrated the Indigenous environmental TV series “Down2Earth,” which also aired on APTN.

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