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Winner of Police1’s top recruitment videos of 2023 humanizes officers with ‘day in the life’ format

“In addition to being police officers, we are also members of the community. We have lives outside of policing, too.”

For the third year in a row, Police1 compiled a list of top police recruitment videos from law enforcement agencies to showcase how departments are recruiting officers throughout the year.

And 2023’s top recruitment videos did not disappoint.

We asked Police1 readers and fans to vote for their favorite video and we received nearly 2,000 votes, with the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department named the winner!

It was a close race, but the MPD’s video hit it out of the park by showcasing how officers transition from their “everyday norm” to their uniform and back … and all over again the next day. The short one-minute video proves that you don’t need all the bells and whistles – just a good story to tell.

MPD’s recruitment video, which was filmed in-house, was filmed over three days and involved over 14 people, including featured female officer A. Jallow.

“The original idea came from Sgt. Benson wanting to showcase a different side of policing,” Eugene Rose, visual information specialist at MPD said. “We wanted to humanize police officers. To show that in addition to being police officers, we are also members of the community. We have lives outside of policing, too.”

Regarding the direct impact on recruitment of this specific video, Lt. Patrick Loftus, director of the strategic engagement office, said it’s a great start to getting more officers through the door: “It performed well on all [social] platforms and we received a lot of positive feedback – internally and externally.”

The recruitment video, Loftus said, is part of the MPD’s “overall strategy to creating engaging and relevant content that shows why D.C. Police is a great department to join.”

We’d also like to recognize the other videos that made our list:

  • Arlington (Texas) Police Department: Late last year, the Texas Rangers won their first World Series championship in franchise history after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks. The department must have been taking notes because they’re looking for their winning team. The video featured a report from the agency’s “draft room,” profiling why recruits and lateral transfers should “sign” with them.
  • Coral Gables (Fla.) Police Department: Nothing says Florida like a song from Flo Rida. The department’s video welcomes viewers “to their house” – from the mat room to the training simulator.
  • Dover (Del.) Police Department: If you’re looking to join a historic police department, then look no further. The Dover PD has been around since 1925 and the officers showcased in the video explain how their agency embodies the same family-like atmosphere as the City of Dover.
  • Eustis (Fla.) Police Department: Take it from Police Chief Craig Capri: You’ll want to consider joining his department after listening to his powerful speech about why his agency can help officers serve the community proactively and positively.
  • Los Angeles Port Police: It’s time to dive in. And don’t just take Shaquille O’Neal’s word for it. Shaq donned his old uniform to send one message: “Team is more important than any one of us. If you have what it takes to join the Los Angeles Port Police, come on down.” Well, what are you waiting for?
  • San Francisco Police Department: This heartfelt recruitment video is like no other. Listen to Officer Nathan Rapolla’s mother explain why her son chose the law enforcement profession.
  • Trussville (Ala.) Police Department: This isn’t a recruitment video. It’s more like an epic movie trailer explaining why everyone should run – not walk – to sign the dotted line at the Trussville Police Department.

Looking ahead

If your department hasn’t created a recruitment video yet, then 2024 is the year to take the visual storytelling leap. More officers than ever before – including potential recruits – are using social media to decide where and why they should serve.

Don’t be the last one to the table. Start thinking about your recruitment video today. And who knows, you might find yourself on our 2024 top recruitment video list.

Sarah Calams, who previously served as associate editor of FireRescue1.com and EMS1.com, is the senior editor of Police1.com and Corrections1.com. In addition to her regular editing duties, Sarah delves deep into the people and issues that make up the public safety industry to bring insights and lessons learned to first responders everywhere.

Sarah graduated with a bachelor’s degree in news/editorial journalism at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Have a story idea you’d like to discuss? Send Sarah an email or reach out on LinkedIn.
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