Police departments nationwide are getting creative to overcome the tight job market.
One recent recruitment video from Texas, designed to emulate a used car dealership commercial, made such an impact that it landed a spot on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" this week.
"We wanted to do something that was fun and would catch people's attention," Fort Worth Officer Buddy Calzada, or "Big B" told Clarkson over a video call into the show
Kelly Clarkson, born and raised in Fort Worth, was excited to showcase her hometown.
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"You're making me proud right now," Clarkson said.
There are several factors making it difficult for law enforcement agencies across the United States to recruit and hire police officers, with the No. 1 reason being the public’s negative perception of law enforcement, according to a survey conducted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 2019.
Tack on concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, the great resignation, the climate for law enforcement, and local reform efforts — has made it difficult for police departments to recruit and retain talent.
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To combat the hurdles, Calzada pitched the idea of the recruitment video to the chief of the Fort Worth Police Department. Before he knew it, he was memorizing lines.
The video begins with Officer "Big B" or Buddy Calzada standing in front of a Fort Worth Police Department cruiser, saying, "Well, howdy folks, officer Big B here."
"Are you looking for a new job?" Calzada asked. "Are you trying to do something new that will make a big difference and doing something great? Well, come join us here at the Fort Worth Police Department. We're hiring, and we got it all."
The video moves to Calzada, showing off the department's Explorers, Tahoes and horses.
Fort Worth has more than 100 positions to fill.
"Yes, this is a silly video, but this is a very real video," police Sgt. Amy Heise told NBCDFW. "We need good people to apply to our department. We know a lot of other agencies are recruiting officers right now."
The video was a success.
On "The Kelly Clarkson Show," Calzada said that the police department received more than 1,000 applications since the video was posted on Sept. 30. The deadline to apply was Oct. 31.
"Behind this vest, behind this badge, there is a human heart," Calzada said. "And you can have fun in every job that you do."