Do real cops appear in Chicago PD? (It's a complicated answer)

The procedural drama takes extra steps to ensure authenticity.
CHICAGO P.D. -- "The One Next to Me" Episode 903 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey, Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "The One Next to Me" Episode 903 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey, Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

One Chicago is praised for its authenticity. Chicago Fire set a great precedent for the franchise by using real life calls as the basis for some of the emergency situations, and and by casting real life firefighters as supporting characters. Anthony Ferraris is so effective as 51 veteran Tony, that it's easy to forget he's an actual firefighter. Do the same rules apply to Chicago PD?

Well, yes and no. Chicago PD does not have a recurring cast member who is a real member of the Chicago Police Department, but the show does go to great lengths to pick the brains of cops behind the scenes. Brian Luce was a member of CPD before he was brought on as a producer and technical advisor.

Chicago PD has a CPD technical consultant

During an interview with American Police Beat, former showrunner Rick Eid praised Luce for his input and his ability to ensure realism without compromising the show's entertainment value:

"Brian is amazing. He's a huge reason the show is so successful... He helps actors look, move and talk like real cops."

Luce ensures that there's more of a police presence behind the camera than there is in front of it, but that doesn't mean Chicago PD is against using actual cops as uniformed extras. The show often calls on local lawmen and women to fill out background scenes, and ensure that what's being shown on the small screen is as close to authentic as possible.

The show also uses real cops as extras

Chicago P.D. - Season 11
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Split Second" Episode 11005 -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

A lot of this attention to detail can be credited to the local company Atmosphere Casting, and the tireless efforts of Chicago PD casting assistant, Cassie Gorniewicz. The latter talked about the process of casting uniformed extras during an interview with NBC 5:

"We're looking for authenticity, to provide a good representation of what they can bring to the table. The duties of a police officer are so specific to their lifestyle."

Gorniewicz explained that it was important to the show to be as convincing as possible when it came to depicting police raids as well as investigations. As minor as the presence of background extras can be, she feels as though it makes a difference. "It's that kind of police training experience that we'd rather not fake," she added.

The gambit has definitely paid off. Not only has the presence of real police officers bolstered the look and feel of the show, but it has given the main cast an example that they can model their own actions after.

Next. PD. 10 most disliked Chicago PD characters. dark