‘APB’ Brings Law Enforcement Into The 21st Century

by Laura Rosenfeld

Love them or hate them, it's probably safe to say that there will never be a shortage of police dramas on TV. The latest one to debut on the small screen, APB, premieres Monday, Feb. 6 at 9 p.m. ET on FOX. However, this one is going to be quite different from all of the police procedurals that have come before it and likely the ones that are sure to come after it, too. For starters, the name APB is pretty unique. That's the kind of title that's sure to have a lot of viewers wondering what APB stands for.

Well, it looks like this new series is going to help you decipher police jargon right off the bat. APB is an acronym that stands for all-points bulletin. It's a message that's sent out to alert law enforcement officials to be on the lookout for an individual, such as a suspect, or something, such as a vehicle, in connection with a crime, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. You may also hear APB referred to by other acronyms, including BOLO or BOL, which stands for "be on the lookout," or ATL, which stands for "attempt to locate."

We'll presumably see many APBs released on APB. I don't know about you, but I always get a kick out of hearing the title of a TV show or a movie within the actual TV show or movie. So I'm ready to have a thrilling experience with this new series if the term "APB" gets thrown around a bunch.

Still, we should expect APB to present its namesake like no other. That's because this show explores the future of law enforcement. Inspired by The New York Times Magazine article "Who Runs the Streets of New Orleans?" by David Amsden, APB follows billionaire engineer Gideon Reeves (Justin Kirk) as he tries to clean up the Chicago Police Department after his friend dies in his arms during an armed robbery and the perpetrator remains at large with little help from the authorities. Gideon uses his own money to upgrade the city's 13th precinct with all sorts of high-tech crime-fighting gadgets, from guns to tasers to cars.

It's unclear exactly how APBs will actually manifest themselves within APB, but it seems likely that it'll be with some sort of advanced technology since that's really what's at the core of this new show. It's possible that APBs will go out with the assistance of some sort of mobile app. The officers of the French Quarter Task Force, the private police force featured in "Who Runs the Streets of New Orleans?," are summoned to investigate potential crimes through a mobile app, which is also used to manage patrols through GPS. We'll have to wait and see if APB takes a similar approach to fighting crime or if it dreams up something completely different than we've ever seen before.