Law Enforcement | Fire Service | Public Safety

Public Relations, OIS, and Critical Incident Consultation
Public Safety Website Design & Development
Recruiting, Critical Incident, and OIS Photo and Video Services

Police Recruitment Videos; Five Tips to Make Yours Effective

by | Dec 30, 2022 | Recruiting, Video

Police departments across the country are constantly searching for talented, passionate, and dedicated individuals who want to serve their community. One of the most effective and cost-efficient ways for police departments to attract top police candidates is through recruitment videos.

Recruitment videos allow departments to give potential applicants a glimpse into their culture, mission, values, and expectations while also providing an opportunity to connect with them on an emotional level. Let’s take a closer look at why recruitment videos are essential for police departments and how they can use them to find suitable candidates. 

The Value of Recruitment Videos 

Recruitment videos help police departments stand out from the pack by allowing them to showcase all that makes their organization unique in an engaging, visually compelling way. By using video storytelling techniques such as compelling interviews, narrative arcs, music, and sound effects, they can create an emotional connection with viewers that goes beyond what text or static images can achieve. 

Additionally, recruitment videos provide departments with a platform for highlighting the positive aspects of working in law enforcement, such as camaraderie among officers or the sense of pride from serving one’s community.  This can be especially useful for helping combat any negative perceptions about law enforcement that may exist in some communities.   

Creating Effective Recruitment Videos 

When creating recruitment videos, police departments must remember their target audience—potential applicants—and craft their message accordingly. It’s also essential to ensure that their video accurately reflects their department’s brand and values, so applicants know exactly what they are signing up for before applying.

It’s essential that any recruitment video is well-produced; if it looks amateurish or unprofessional, then it could do more harm than good when it comes to attracting top candidates. Finally, police departments should make sure they promote their recruitment videos widely, so they have maximum reach and visibility among potential applicants.  

One of The Best for 2022

On December 14, 2022, revealed its top 10 police recruiting videos for 2022. This video for the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department made the list and was made by TOC Public Relations.

Keep These Pointers In Mind

Since departments hire TOC Public Relations to make their recruitment videos, we’re always looking at the latest trends, other department’s videos, and listening to what viewers want to see. We’ve learned a lot along the way, and if you are going to do your own video, we’ve got some tips to share with you in hopes of making your efforts successful.

Tip #1 – Plan it Out First

Don’t just throw it together. Plan every part of the video, such as:

Your Demographic: Who are you trying to appeal to? Do you want seasoned veteran laterals? Do you need young college graduate applicants? Are you looking for prior military?

After you’ve determined this, you need to consider the career dynamics and values that tend appeal to each of those demographics so you can tailor the design and tone accordingly.

For example, a high pace video focused on showing officers in foot and vehicle pursuits, patting down tweakers in dirty alleys, gun battles, use of force incidents, etc., is probably not going to appeal as much to the lateral officer who has been working a high-intensity assignment or in an area where it’s call-to-call. 

The Participants: Who will be in the video, what will they wear, say, and do. Also, are they relatable to your target audience.

The Storyline: The content of the video and how it is pieced together to tell your story needs to align with your departments recruiting goals and brand in a way that captures peoples attention. Plan out shot transitions, b roll footage, and corresponding logistics to ensure that each shot is professional and captivating.

Tip #2 – Have Cool Effects? Don’t Let Them Overrun The Video

Overrunning the video means making it go on and on because you like a cool effect or song that you want to use as much as you can.

Keep the cool effects in the video, but don’t make the video about the cool effect. 

Tip #3 – Don’t Make it Too Long

You need to consider your demographic and the platform you are posting on. People love watching videos on Instagram, but if it doesn’t hold someone’s attention, they will swipe up as soon as they’re uninterested. Keep the video short and sweet with captivating shots, transitions, music, and graphic effects.

Tip #4 – Remember The Purpose

Your recruitment video is about captivating prospective applicant’s attention with the end result being they reach out for more information or apply to your department.

The video shouldn’t be simply a music, dance, or other types of “entertainment” video, but rather something that provides the viewer with the information they care about, such as:

  • Benefits and salary
  • Is there room to grow, advance, or promote?
  • Can they share their input or ideas?
  • Does the department care about their officers in terms of health and wellness?
  • Does the community support their officers?

Tip #5 – Bring in Experts

There is nothing wrong in hiring professionals to come and handle a project such as a recruitment video. It’s not a “dig” on your “in-house” videographers, PIOs, or social media managers to seek the help of a company who does this all the time. 

A Different, Refreshing Take

In this video for the Bell Gardens Police Department, prospective candidates quickly learn that the city of Bell Gardens offers all the action and job satisfaction desired by those wanting to make a difference in a community. It’s different from most recruitment videos we’ve made in the past.


Recruitment videos have become essential tools for police departments looking to attract top talent by showcasing why joining their ranks is a great decision both professionally and personally. When creating these types of videos, it is important that they reflect your department’s values accurately while being professionally produced and promoted widely so you can reach your target audience effectively. 

With the right approach, recruitment videos can be powerful tools for helping your department stand out from other law enforcement organizations when recruiting new officers.

About the Author

  • Tamrin Olden

    Tamrin Olden is a veteran public affairs officer, having worked for three law enforcement organizations in Southern California. Today, she has trained and consulted thousands of public safety and government personnel on all aspects of communications and public relations.

Share This