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For immediate release
June 24, 2004
Jenny Lawhorn : 202-513-2754

NPR Goes "On the Beat" with America's Police Force


WASHINGTON, DC - In July, NPR's All Things Considered takes a look inside local law enforcement with "On the Beat," a three-part news series about what's most fulfilling-and frustrating-about being a police officer in America today. Three NPR correspondents take listeners across the U.S., hitting urban, suburban and rural areas to uncover issues affecting police work today and examine how policing has changed over the last 10 years. The series, airing consecutive Wednesdays on July 7, 14 and 21, will include the perspective of experts including criminologists, former police commanders, academics and crime writers.

July 7 - Sheriff Scott Busching has spent 22 years working in the Williams County Sheriff's office and has been a Sheriff for the past six years. He and his 11 deputies patrol 2000 square miles of the country, covering an area that has a population density of four people per square mile. Even though North Dakota is ranked as the “safest” state, people don't feel as safe there anymore. Crime is becoming more violent, and is increasingly related to problems involving alcohol and drugs. NPR's Howard Berkes investigates.

July 14 - Urban Cops in Chicago. 38-year police veteran Ken Watt describes his job "as varied as is humanity." Ken not only protects those in Chicago's south side, a blue-collar neighborhood that is both large and ethnically diverse, but also partners with fresh academy grads for a month or two at a time. NPR's David Schaper reports.

July 21 - Suburban Police in Lowell, MA. In this piece, a veteran and a rookie cop talk about the challenges police officers face in a post-9/11 world and reveal problems the force encounters while policing gangs. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

All Things Considered airs afternoons from 4-6pm in many cities. It is the third most listened-to radio program in the country with more than 11 million listeners each week, airing on more than 600 public radio stations nationwide. Local station listings and times are available at

About NPR
NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of more than 22 million Americans each week via more than 770 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, offers hourly newscasts, special features and seven years of archived audio and information.