Dramatic Palatine police recruiting video makes an action-movie splash, then disappears
If you didn't know any better -- or didn't pay attention to the title -- you might think you were watching a trailer for the latest Jerry Bruckheimer action movie.
Scenes of police officers in SWAT gear arriving at a crisis situation, squad cars in hot pursuit and cops lifting weights in the gym, catching bad guys and honing their skills at the firing range fill the screen for three minutes and 52 seconds, all over a soaring, operatic score.
But this is no summer blockbuster, and its intended audience isn't your typical film buff. It's the Palatine Police Department's new recruitment video, which in just two days garnered nearly 5,000 views on YouTube and caused quite the stir on social media, before village officials made it private Thursday afternoon.
The flashy video -- filmed entirely by and starring members of the police department -- comes as law enforcement departments across the suburbs and country are struggling to attract new officers.
"We're having to figure out different ways to try and recruit qualified, diverse professional candidates," Palatine police Cmdr. David Brandwein told us Thursday, before the video was taken down. "And we wanted to highlight the training we receive here, as well as the specialty positions that we offer."
Brandwein later said the video was made private so that village council members could review it before it could be republished.
Work on the video began eight months ago, Brandwein said, when a committee of officers got together to brainstorm ways to let would-be recruits know about the department. The final product includes scenes of canine officers, bicycle units, crime scene technicians, members of the regional SWAT team, school resource officers and more.
"In this current climate, the departments are kind of competing for top-level candidates, so we're trying to show what we specifically offer in Palatine as opposed to other departments," Brandwein said. "We're very proud of the amount of training that we receive."
The video received a mixed reaction during its 48 hours or so in the public sphere. Posted on the "Everything Palatine" Facebook page Tuesday afternoon, it garnered more than 200 comments.
Some praise the video and police department, recalling positive interactions with Palatine officers and saying the video shows they "mean business and that they're serious about what they do."
Others are sharply critical, saying the video focuses too much on the enforcement side of policing and not nearly enough on community service. "It doesn't portray police work in Palatine as (a) community partnership and positive police interactions, which does make up a lot of the work," one commenter wrote.
Brandwein said the department respects everyone's opinion but stressed that the video is intended to sell recruits on the special opportunities the department has to offer, not necessarily portray every facet of police work. The video, he added, does feature a school resource officer, police interacting with children and the department's citizen police academy.
"We plan to put out more videos that are more like public service announcements that will highlight (community policing)," said Brandwein, who heads up the department's Office of Neighborhood Based Policing.
In case you were wondering -- and we were -- Brandwein said the video was not filmed with a Bruckheimer-like budget. Since it was made in-house using department equipment, he said, the only cost was the time officers spent making it.
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Don't lose a best friend
If you're a regular on suburban police departments' Facebook pages, you've come across dozens of posts seeking the owner of a lost dog that's been turned over to police. And while those cases usually have happy endings, with dog and owner reunited, it would be even better if the family pet didn't go missing in the first place.
With that in mind, Arlington Heights police are teaming up Saturday with the group Lost Dog Illinois to host a lost dog prevention and education event.
Coinciding with National Lost Dog Awareness Day, the event runs from 9 a.m. to noon at South Middle School, 400 S. Highland Ave. in Arlington Heights.
The free event will feature info on how to update your pet's chip, what to do if you lose your pet, how to be safe while walking your pet in the community and more.
For more information, write Alexandra Ovington at email@example.com.
DuPage mourns Praise
The DuPage County sheriff's office is mourning a canine loss of another kind -- the passing of beloved bloodhound Praise.
Praise became suddenly ill last Friday and died, the sheriff's office announced on its Facebook page Monday.
Praise served DuPage County for nearly 10 years, assisting in hundreds of missing person cases and criminal investigations, according to the sheriff's office. She also was a popular ambassador for the office, appearing at community events to greet residents young and old, and show off her tracking skills.
Her partner, Deputy Ryan Culver, said Praise's contributions over the years have forever earned her a top spot among the many great sheriff's office bloodhounds to serve before her.
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