How does our police department see itself?

logo Latest in a series of posts about the Bethlehem Police logo

“The police department is structured using a Community police philosophy and committed to community and police partnerships.”
City of Bethlehem 2020 Budget

One place to answer that question would be the face it wears at hiring time.

Here’s a 2018 police department recruitment video from their facebook page.

Let Gadfly give you several prompts as he might have done with his students in order to start a discussion.

  • View the video
  • When done, which 2-3 images do you recall most prominently?
  • List some images you liked.
  • List some you didn’t
  • What did you see that you didn’t expect to?
  • What didn’t you see, that you expected to?
  • What’s the “message” of the video, a message that may be different than that provided in the narration?
  • To what specific characteristics in potential recruits does the video appeal?
  • If you were asked to suggest changes in this video, if any, now after the George Floyd killing, what would you say?
  • Do you think a new video is needed now after the George Floyd killing? If so, why? What kind?
  • Does the video square with the description of the department given above?

Gadfly again trying to start a conversation in preparation for the bigger one coming before us as we review the use of force directives and consider a Community Engagement Initiative.

3 thoughts on “How does our police department see itself?

  1. I was not at the recent NAACP/BLM rally, but someone told me that few or none of the police were wearing face masks. Some of the young people who were there interpreted as the police thinking of themselves as ‘above the law’ or just expressing disregard for the protesters.

  2. Memorable images:
    • scenes of friendly interactions [liked, although some felt contrived]
    • police in riot gear emerging from armored vehicle [did not like]
    • over-emphasis on police presence in what appeared to be non-emergency situations [did not like]
    • officer biking on busy Main Street sidewalk [should be setting a better example]

    Would have liked to see more depth, instead of clips designed to make a point

    Other thoughts:
    • Overemphasis on drama
    • community members mostly ‘white’
    • Very little time on everyday interactions

  3. When you ask if someone thinks a new video is needed, shouldn’t you preface your,”Why?” with an, “If so,”

Leave a Reply