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The Intense Training The Chicago P.D. Cast Went Through To Prepare For The Show

At a time when television seems completely oversaturated with crime dramas and police procedurals, "Chicago P.D." manages to separate itself from the competition in a few unique ways. For one, the show features frequent crossovers with the other shows in the "One Chicago" universe, allowing fans to follow a multitude of overlapping storylines with far-reaching consequences for all three series. More significantly, the show presents a unique perspective on the police procedural genre by connecting the stories of street-level police and the precinct's Intelligence Unit.

Within the fictional 21st District of the Chicago Police Department, this Intelligence Unit focuses on the city's more serious offenses, such as drug trafficking and organized crime. The members of the Intelligence Unit are more than your typical uniformed police officers — they are an elite group of detectives who often have to take matters into their own hands in order to solve crimes. As such, they have to be presented as the best of the best, and according to actor Sophia Bush (who played Detective Erin Lindsay), the cast went through a rigorous training program in order to prepare for the series.

The actors went through a week-long boot camp before filming

During an interview with Young Hollywood, Bush revealed that the cast actually trained with multiple law enforcement professionals prior to shooting. "We had a full week of boot camp with a SWAT team, with intelligence officers, with technical advisors," she explained. "It was crazy ... and also very exciting." Considering the fact that the series' Intelligence Unit is supposed to consist of the most elite members of the whole department, there's no question that this rigorous boot camp was necessary to get the actors into the right mindset.

Bush went on to describe how the training doesn't stop after that first week of boot camp — there are technical advisors on set every day teaching them more and more about what it's like to work in law enforcement. Their dedication to this intensive training certainly pays off on-screen. Every member of "Chicago P.D.” looks like they've genuinely mastered the ins and outs of their job, and as such, the entire series is granted a sense of gritty realism that's hard to come by.