King of Kensington: town's police chief featured on CBC-TV show

He thought it was a hoax at first, but CBC really wanted to include Kensington Police Chief Lewie Sutherland on a new national reality TV show.

Chief Lewie Sutherland featured in Keeping Canada Safe Thursday night

Kensington police Chief Lewie Sutherland is profiled on the new CBC-TV show Keeping Canada Safe, which airs Thursday at 9 p.m. (CBC)

A familiar face in Kensington will appear on television screens Thursday night in a new CBC show.

Police Chief Lewie Sutherland will be in the first episode of Keeping Canada Safe.

The eight-episode series takes viewers behind the scenes of police forces across the country.

In September 2016 the show sent 60 camera crews to cities and towns from coast to coast, including Kensington.

"At first, I'll be quite honest with you, I thought it was a hoax," said the 11-year veteran of the force. "But then I talked to one of the producers and realized it wasn't a hoax, and he said they wanted to come do a day-in-the-life of a Kensington police chief in P.E.I."

Chief Lewie Sutherland says being part of everyday life in Kensington is an important element in his job. (CBC)

The producers weren't deterred when Sutherland explained that it wasn't that busy a spot for law enforcement.

"I guess they wanted to show how a small force works, and what we do," he said. "We have the same issues as bigger departments, only on a smaller scale."

Even more specifically, the show wanted to look at a day in the life of a police chief.

"I went for a drive, and decided, well, I've got to put this together in my head, what am I going to do with these people for eight or 10 hours?" said Chief Sutherland.

Small-town policing

He soon realized he didn't need a plan, he just had to show what he really did.

"The first thing I do in the morning is, I pride myself on being in the school zone," said Sutherland. "If I'm not here, then there'll be a police car at both schools in the morning."

He took the crew to a cemetery he stops at often, where he visits the grave of a young girl he knew who died in a serious car accident not far from his home.

He also took them on a foot patrol of the town, something he or another officer does daily.

Part of the program looks at a multi-force traffic check point, with Chief Sutherland assisted by RCMP, wildlife and highway enforcement officers. (CBC)

"We have a really good relationship with the people of the town, the businesspeople, and I guess maybe someone had told them that this is what goes on in Kensington," he said.

The show is billed as a look at everyday heroes, but Sutherland played that down.

"I like to think that we have a good handle on policing the town, and I would hope that we would get the same response back," he said.

You can see Chief Lewie Sutherland on Keeping Canada Safe, a new CBC show that airs Thursday at 9:00 p.m.

From the interview on Island Morning