“The Second District,” a cop show being pitched to television networks, was created by a Hartford police officer and a career criminal currently doing time for a federal offense. It is set in a blighted Hartford neighborhood described in a trailer for the show as “the most dangerous area” of the city, reports the Hartford Courant. “It’s going to be the type of show that’s raw, that’s real. In the long run it’s going to be entertaining,” said Officer Mark Manson, a Hartford officer since 1998.
Footage for a 30-minute pilot was filmed in July. A trailer showing shots of Hartford, gang violence, and power struggles within the police department has been posted on YouTube. “It’s important to me that people know I’m not bashing the city,” Manson said. “What I’m writing about goes on everywhere.” “The Second District” is compelling because it was written from the perspective of a police officer and a criminal, said David Wenzel of Onward and Sideways Productions, a company that has taken the show to several networks. “What struck us was that it rang so real and true because it was coming from an honest face.” Manson’s collaborator is Felix Soto, who pleaded guilty in April in federal court to a bank robbery and is in custody. Manson, whose only writing experience comes from composing “millions of pages” of police reports, took charge of writing the script. Using his own experiences as a police officer, he crunched out story lines and dialogue for the police officers while Soto helped develop the gang members in the plot.