Former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Halpin says he created The Oath, Crackle’s new drama series about police gangs, to “shine a light” on the phenomenon.

Halperin, who says he was a police officer for 18 years, describes himself as having belonged to a gang, and told TV critics they exist in police departments throughout the United States. “I have partners in prison now,” he said at TCA. Watch the new trailer above.

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The pilot’s cop-committed bank robbery “happened in LA,” he said, while acknowledging incidents in the series have been “enhanced and condensed” for purposes of making compelling TV.

“If this show brings an awareness” of the “systemic cancer that lives in police departments, then it will have to be addressed and hopefully this show will cause conversations that will get things done,” he said of the series, from executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit Film and Television.

Series co-star Kwanten, on stage with other members of the ensemble cast, described the “strong gravitation toward the material” by “actors like us.”

“Most of us aren’t classically trained,” he said, describing them as being of the “more life-experience acting.”

“This is the kind of stuff we salivate over,” he added.

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One of the TV critics wondered if they made fun of the series’ big-name star, Sean Bean, who actually studied his craft and graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

“Fortunately this kind of material brings the best performance out of Sean too,” Kwanten acknowledged, generously.

Kwanten, who plays Bean’s son in the series, described the thespian, who was not present, as someone who changes the temperature of the room when he walks in.

“You have to come in, locked and loaded” when working with Bean, Kwanten said, unironically.

Kwanten also has a producer credit on the project, which he explained is “more to inspire the team” adding that he’s been “waiting in the wings for a chance like this” and “took the bull by the horns and ran with it.”

The cast, especially Katrina Law, seemed extremely happy when Halperin said that, as a cop, he had to size up people immediately and thought these cast members could have been asked to join a cop gang. “Balls on,” she cheered.

She described their characters as “as family” with a “moral compass” that “may be a little off.”

Here is the new key art for The Oath: