Broken Arrow Police Department Reveals New Recruitment Tool
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - It's something police departments all over the country have known for years now - it's harder than ever to find qualified police officers.
One study by a Golden Gate University professor estimates more than 80 percent of all police departments in the U.S. have job openings they can't fill.
This week, the Broken Arrow Police Department revealed a new tool to draw candidates in.
It looks like the trailer for a summer blockbuster, starting pitch-black and then fading to a shot of the Broken Arrow Police Department.
At some points, it looks like it could be a commercial from the tourism department: "The heart of the city offers a variety of dining, shopping and nightlife options," the voice-over artist booms.
It's a recruitment video created to find new police officers for Broken Arrow.
"We want to get the best quality candidates and, ultimately, we don't care where they come from," said Sergeant Brad Klingenberg, the department's training sergeant.
It's something Klingenberg and his team has wanted for years - something to grab people's attention and get the word out about the Broken Arrow Police Department.
Klingenberg said years ago, the department got about 200 applicants for every recruitment class - now, fewer than half that number. He said agencies in our area have to fight over qualified candidates.
"The Tulsa metro area is extremely competitive," he said, "so we wanted to get a product out there to show what kind of a quality agency we are."
A professional filmmaker out of Chicago named Robert Cawthorne shot and edited the video, complete with drone aerials. Cawthorne grew up in Owasso, where he went to school with Broken Arrow Corporal Josh Russell.
Because of the connection, Cawthorne did it all for free.
The hope is to get Broken Arrow, especially its police department, on the map.
"Now we have the time, we have the funding," Klingenberg said. "We realize it's extremely important to give the citizens the officers they deserve, that we have to make this push."
You can see see the entire video here.