When Titus Makin Jr. was hired to portray officer Jackson West on The Rookie, he was on the heels of some vastly different roles. He was best known for his work on Glee, but Makin also had some larger roles on Hulu's The Path, and Pretty Little Liars. His background was varied, but stepping into the shoes of an LAPD officer took some specialized training.
As Makin explained during an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, he and the other cast members of The Rookie had to go through a rapid-fire version of the police academy. They trained the same way that actual police officers did, just at an advanced pace. This training covered everything from driving to simply following the basic rules of law enforcement.
"Yeah, they actually put us through a kind of quick version of the police academy training at the top of each season," Makin said to PopCulture.com. "So season one we did... I think we had like two weeks of training. They bring in all the professionals and we go to the shooting range and we have driving training and clearing the room and learning how to cuff, and combat. So we did that for a short period of time before each season, just to kind of refreshing us and keep us looking somewhat presentable."
Makin also revealed that he and his castmates primarily go through training and the subsequent refresher courses at the beginning of each season, but that is not the only time that they focus on properly portraying law enforcement officers. There is also a source of information in the form of a technical advisor that can provide answers at all times. If Makin is unsure about a specific tactic, he can simply turn to the advisor and ask.
Interestingly enough, working with this outside source of information came into play during a recent episode of The Rookie. Makin's character of Jackson West was tasked with serving as a technical advisor on the set of a fake cop show. Completing this task could have been fairly difficult, but he actually found it more entertaining mixing the two worlds together.
"It was actually funny because of in between takes, I would be asking the technical advisor, how I would technically advise," Makin said. "And it was a funny dynamic that we were kind of a show within the show, kind of doing what we actually have to do. It was bizarre but really fun."
With another 11 episodes to go until the season two finale, it's possible that Makin's character could be continuing to serve as a technical advisor. If so, he would be able to rely on both his previous training, as well as his own source of critical information.
The Rookie is currently midway through the 20-episode second season. New episodes air every Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET.
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