'Justified' producers seek more accurate portrayals of Lexington, state police

police image important to show

jkegley@herald-leader.comOctober 3, 2011 

  • On TV


    Network: FX

    When: Unless FX changes its patterns, the series' third season will start in late winter.

The setting of the popular TV show Justified might be a fictionalized, Wild West version of Lexington, but at least one thing should be accurate in the upcoming third season: the police uniforms.

Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts spoke last week with a costume designer who wants to make the uniforms that actors wear on the show look more like those of their real-life counterparts.

"The designers reached out to us because they do want to try to make our image more accurate," Roberts said.

The show chronicles a U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Kentucky but occasionally features Lexington police officers and Kentucky State Police. Timothy Olyphant stars as a marshal operating out of Lexington who tangles with criminal organizations crowding into Harlan County. The FX series is shot in California.

The designers had looked at photos of Lexington police officers in uniform on the Internet and contacted Roberts to discuss the type of fabric; the designs of hats, vests and jackets; and the location of equipment, badges and patches, she said.

The designer also has spoken with state police in Harlan to make sure their uniforms and equipment, as well as the officers' demeanors, are accurate, Lt. David Jude said.

He said officers at the state police post in Harlan contacted the show's producers because they thought troopers were not accurately portrayed earlier in the series.

"That's standard for us," he said. "If we have a TV show that's going to use our likeness, it has to be an appropriate, proper likeness."

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