Local Government

Who is the Fullerton Police Department’s Recruitment Video attracting?

“Though some law enforcement agencies may be tempted to display themes and artifacts that they think will be exciting to potential applicants, law enforcement agencies should consider how their recruitment advertising may be attracting values and ideologies that may or may not be congruent with goals to grow a representative force that embraces a democratic, ‘guardian’ ethos.”                    –Dr Koslicki, (2021) Assistant Professor Criminal Justice & Criminology BSU

There has been growing public concern nationwide about the militarization of local police departments. The current Fullerton Police Department recruitment video portrays our city as a war zone full of crime that requires heavy-handed violent policing with military gear. But is that an accurate picture of our city or its officers? See who you think will be attracted by the FPD’s video by visiting www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AQ-BWHB33E

Can we do better to attract responsible officers to join our police department? Fullerton has seen its share of officers who endangered their fellow officers, the public and had to be fired. Recruitment errors also pose a financial liability to the city in the form of settlements paid out for bad behavior. Many neighboring city police departments have videos similar to Fullerton’s para-military style video. Instead of joining that group, let’s consider a more respectful approach to our current police officers, our city, and the public.

A few examples of local recruitment videos that will attract responsible personnel to our police department include those of Irvine, Santa Ana, and Cypress. Watch them at these sites:

Examples of three police recruitment videos from Georgia that inspire public respect and attract high-quality employees can be viewed by visiting the links below:

For an interesting 2021 analysis of 200 recruitment videos of police departments nationwide, read: “Recruiting Warriors or Guardians? A Content Analysis of Police Recruitment Videos” by Indigo W. M. Koslicki of Ball State University, Indiana.

8 replies »

  1. I heard that at the Lions Club meeting outgoing Police Chief Dunn said that the low budget recruitment video ($5000) was created to be fast and exciting because the young people the department wants to attract are used to fast moving video games. Reportedly a new version will be coming out soon that will add balance with more community engagement scenes and cost $55,000. WHAT? I hope that is not true. While the subject matter was bad – the quality of the violent version was very good. Why not just hire the same guy for $5000 to make a better version showing real conditions instead of fake violent version?

  2. I yearn for the good old days of Fullerton P.D. when it had its exemplary, community-police program. If memory serves me correctly, this program coordinated by Fullerton Police Officer Rincon.

    • You can’t possibly mean Albert “Alby Al” Rincon who got busted molesting women in the back of a squad car..

  3. And I would like the language the police use in regard to citizens to change. I understand that they call us “civilians” which is a word that implies the speaker is a military person. Indeed, I passed the back of the police station when apparent recruits were lined up at attention and chorusing “Yes sir! No sir!” in a militaristic brainwashing ritual. Promoting an “us” and “them” attitude which makes it easier to be rude or worse to the “them.”

  4. While the video capitalizes on “training & readiness” for potential “bad boy” situations, it fails to portray the message of a “peace officer”. We all know the people/political landscape has changed, as there are far more persons that choose to disrespect “law and order”, however, the video appeared to be a pilot for S.W.A.T, only it was missing Hondo!

  5. Thanks for bringing this to the public’s attention. In a recruitment video, I would have liked to see a greater focus on officers helping members of the community, instead of focusing on and exaggerating the more violent, adrenaline-pumping aspects of policing. People shouldn’t see policing as a way to be tough in a war zone (which Fullerton is not); as a member of the community, I want to see police as people I can rely on, who care about me and my neighbors. I agree that this video sends the wrong message.

  6. Great article ! As a victim of fascist Fullerton police I agree with this outstanding article.