‘Chicago P.D.’ Police Reform is Coming For Hank’s Unit — Will Voight Be Safe?

Television productions have had a difficult year, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many shows have been forced to shut down entirely, while others have found workarounds by utilizing strict safety measures on set.

Out of all the television genres experiencing difficulties, police procedural dramas have found themselves in the spotlight — and not in a good way. The civil unrest in the country is forcing many showrunners to take a hard look at their programming, restructuring characters and situations to reflect what is going on around the world.

Recently, Chicago P.D., one of America’s most popular procedural dramas, announced some major shakeups coming in the new season, and many fans are wondering if Hank Voight, the show’s brutal lead character, will be able to survive the changes. 

When did ‘Chicago P.D.’ debut on television?

Jason Beghe as Hank Voight
Jason Beghe as Hank Voight | Matt Dinerstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Chicago P.D. first premiered on television in 2014, as one of the shows in the famed Chicago franchise. The series focuses on the patrol officers of the fictional 21st District, as well as the Intelligence Unit. The show features such talented actors as Jason Beghe, Sophia Bush, Jon Seda, and Jesse Lee Soffer.

The show very quickly became one of the most popular police procedural dramas on television, with fans gravitating towards the gritty storylines and well-written characters.

Critics have praised Chicago P.D. and over the years, the series has received several award nominations. In spite of the show’s immense popularity, this year has brought some controversy to Chicago P.D., as many viewers have questioned the way that the main character Hank Voight conducts himself. 

Police procedural dramas are under fire

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Following the death of George Floyd in June, fans took to social media to protest the way that many television police officers tend to behave. Hank Voight was one of the primary targets, as Voight is known for his brutal ways and no-nonsense manner with suspects. Fans slammed Voight’s “dirty cop” tactics and what’s more, blamed Chicago P.D. for contributing to the “copaganda” narrative. 

In recent months, Voight’s actions have become even more problematic, according to many fans. Some have accused the show of justifying’s Voight’s brutal actions, and have called for the character to be fired. By firing the character, critics argue, showrunners would be making a statement about how violent police tactics are never acceptable.

While showrunners have remained mum on whether Voight could get the boot in the upcoming eighth season, the addition of a brand-new character to the season eight lineup will definitely spell major changes for Voight.

‘Chicago P.D.’ will be addressing police reform in the new season

According to TV Line, veteran actress Ari Parker has been cast for Chicago P.D.‘s eighth season. She will be playing Deputy Superintendent Samantha Miller, a character who is ardent about police reform and reportedly “will not tolerate breaches of the new police guidelines and protocols.”

There’s no doubt that Miller and Voight will butt heads at times, and considering that the character will be making her debut in the season premiere, things are ripe for a big blowup between Miller and the hotheaded Voight.

Whether Miller’s appointment will lead to Voight getting fired remains to be seen — but it certainly seems as though showrunners are setting the stage for Voight to finally address the consequences of his actions, in one manner or another. Viewers will have to tune in to the upcoming season of Chicago P.D. in November to see how it all ultimately shakes down between Miller and Voight.