'The Shift' features Indianapolis murder squad

Dateline: Fri 02 Jan 2009

How odd and ironic. I had to go to the New York Post to read a newspaper story about Indianapolis homicide detectives featured in a new TV series, "The Shift."

First, the facts: "The Shift" debuted Sunday Dec. 21 at 10 p.m. on "Investigative Discovery," a cable show. It will run for six weeks, and it's a good hard look at police detective work up-close. One gets to see how these particular cops on the middle shift zero in on a murder crime, take it personally, and methodically start chasing down leads until an arrest is made.

The channel, a new venture, was looking for a city with a "high solve rate" for homicides, said producer Christo Doyle, in an interview with local FOX 59 TV (and bully for Fox, for giving us some local coverage of the show).

Producers found it in the unit run by Sgt. Jeff Breedlove, whose police work was featured in the second episode ("Ripple Effect," about a young woman's body found floating in the White River).

The debut episode honed in on Detectives Christine Minka and her partner Lesia Moore, as they chased leads in the Westside shooting death of Angel Velasquez-Louis.

Minka has the great lines. "I work for the dead...I don't want anyone to come to Indianapolis and think they can kill."

A friend tipped me off about this show -- God knows, it has received no coverage in the Star -- and I have not been disappointed. If you are interested in detective work, appreciate how painstaking and methodical and yes boring it can be, then this is your shot glass of whiskey.

My only slight criticism -- I would have liked more of a sense of place; the first crime takes place on West 38th Street, in a mangy apartment complex that I swear we'd all recognize.

Later on, one sees Shapiro's and a Fountain Square diner, because, God knows, cops have to drink coffee and eat Reubens while they're solving homicides. But more scene setting would have been pleasant -- some addresses, you know, and enough with the Colts insignia in the background as a locater.

That aside, it's a good series, for those of us interested in the city's underbelly and the police who protect us.

For more buzz, here's what Linda Stasi has to say in the New York Post, followed by a link:

"...this interesting, if not riveting, show follows the Indy detectives from murder to solution, a format we've seen before and will sure as shoot see again. The detectives here are engaging simply because they are so real - clearly not media trained, glamorized or sleeked up for the screen.

"They are methodical, hard-working, and have tunnel vision, which is exactly what you have to have to solve puzzles - especially of the homicidal kind."

Here is her link:

http://www.nypost.com/seven/12192008/tv/mourning_shift_144831.htm

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