Two Videos, Two Cities, Two Attitudes

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

I give you two police department recruiting videos. The first is from Decatur, Georgia. The second is from Newport Beach, California. These are the videos each respective department has chosen to represent what being a cop is all about. They’re the videos each department feels will appeal to candidates with the characteristics and traits that make for a good police officer.

Let’s assume two generic towns that are otherwise mostly similar. One town takes a Newport Beach approach to policing. The other takes a Decatur approach. In which town would you rather live?



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117 Responses to “Two Videos, Two Cities, Two Attitudes”

  1. #1 |  Rebecca | 

    From someone who lives near Newport Beach (I work in Irvine), it is not that dangerous. I’m not sure why they decided they should go with the violent, loud, action-packed approach. Crime wise, it’s pretty boring.

    #97, no, it isn’t that diverse, either.

  2. #2 |  Choochoo | 

    I have grown up and lived in the City of Decatur my entire life. We have an amazing law enforcement establishment. People who say “F*** the police” are the biggest hypocrits. Just wait until YOU call the police. I can tell you now, if you got to know the City of Decatur PD you would never say “F*** the police again” you would have an entirely different view of the PD:)

  3. #3 |  Patrick from Popehat | 


    Last June my neighbor’s house was broken into. Fortunately she had an alarm system and the police showed up before anything was taken. But I made a point of going into the yard and confronting the officers who were running around (on my property) to ask what they were doing. I did it because I was concerned they’d wander further onto my property and encounter my dogs.

    I was glad the police showed up promptly. I was worried about my dogs. Does that make me a hypocrite?

  4. #4 |  Rufus | 

    I lived in Newport beach in 2009 and now live in Decatur.
    Newport beach is a very weird place. It is an affluent town but does have an underbelly of very aggressive young men. Guys into MMA, steroids, x games motocross fast and furious types, etc. if you go to a bar at night youll notice it always seems very tense, like there is going to be a big brawl between some monster truck guys and the skate punks, or whatever.
    Decatur on the other hand is one of the most mellow places I’ve ever been. These videos present the vibe of both places pretty accurately, IMO.

  5. #5 |  Moriarty | 

    More grist for the legal mill. These sorts of things have a way of finding their way into the courtroom in civil trials where “a culture embracing the use of excessive force and police brutality” is alleged.

    A-Team style recruitment ads can go a long way toward influencing a jury on culpability and the size of an award.

  6. #6 |  IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States | 

    Liberal, progressive California – now that’s the place to be… beaten by cops.

    Somehow the last three words got left off. Gald I could help…


  7. #7 |  me | 

    Just for comparison: recruiting video of the Munich police (quicktime)

    The slogan at the beginning reads “Everything but ordinary”
    The slogan at the end reads “Everybody needs us, we need you!”

  8. #8 |  craig | 

    Not even a little credit….

  9. #9 |  Burgers Allday |

  10. #10 |  GFGirl | 

    Having lived in BOTH places, I can say hands down that Decatur is the far better place in terms of community policing. Note the use of the term “community” which seems not to exist in NB. Decatur = sleepy, FRIENDLY South. NB = Weird SoCal 80s vibe.

  11. #11 |  Bob | 

    Cops are trained to yell “stop resisting” any time they tackle someone no matter if they are not resisting so they can charge resisting arrest. Police police almost everywhere.

    “To Protect and Serve” my ass.

  12. #12 |  Newport Beach, Calif., Police Recruiting Video Goes Overboard - ABC News | 

    […] on YouTube for about four years, but didn’t garner much attention until it was posted on The Agitator in early July. The post shows two separate police departments taking two very different approaches […]

  13. #13 |  Hopkins | 

    While i felt it best to remain apart from the subject of this discussion, I felt it necessary to inquire as to where Sheepdog has obtained his/her crime statistics related to DeKalb County.
    As a former Dekalb Homicide Detective, I can assure you that the numbers posted (16 and 20 respectively for the years 2011 and 2012) are highly erroneous. In fact although I left in 2008, I cannot recall a year since 2006 that there were less than 100 homicides in the unincorporated portion of Dekalb County. And while the City of Decatur is a tranquil oasis amid a sea of chaos as it is the county seat of Dekalb, it is most assuredly surrounded by some sketchy areas.
    Additionally as a Los Angeles County native, I would have to agree with Rufus’ assessment of Newport Beach. As such I never ever felt comfortable going there nor most of orange County. Seems to be just angry, rich, white Republicans whom I can’t seem to understand what they are so angry about. Unless it’s having too much money. Being the type of area that it is and based on the demographic, I doubt that Newport is a crime hotspot as the video would lead you to believe.
    Are there cops overly aggressive? It wouldn’t surprise me as it would be consistent with the mentality of that type of community. As a person of color I wouldn’t want to put that theory to the test. Thus I will continue to remain wary of 0range County and Newport Beach.

  14. #14 |  Newport Beach Police Recruitment Video Hilariously Portrays The Beachside City As The Wild West « Go to News! | 

    […] no-nonsense “Are You Qualified?” video went viral after it was posted on The Agitator alongside its video opposite: a police recruitment video from the Decatur Police Department in […]

  15. #15 |  Casual Films UK Blog | Bicycles vs. Guns | 

    […] and has since won a whole bunch of awards. However, after reading a post on Radley Balko’s blog, The Agitator, we looked back on our TVP video in a slightly different […]

  16. #16 |  Anonymous | 

    I’m familiar with both areas as a resident. Both police videos are accurate for each of the portrayed areas.

    In reference to someone’s post about taxes in Georgia, based on my experience, they rarely peak over $10,000 and average $4,000 to $6,000 in City of Atlanta; unlike, Newport Beach which averages $15,000 and up to $27,000. (similar to New Jersey property taxes just outside of Manhattan in beautiful South Orange and quaint Maplewood NJ)

    After living in Newport Beach, I was more than happy to return to the east coast mindset.

  17. #17 |  Rick Horowitz | 

    The video from Newport Beach clearly demonstrates why I, a practicing criminal defense lawyer in California, believe we are living in a post-constitutional world, as I recently wrote on my blog.

    Law enforcement here doesn’t seem to even have a modicum of concern for the law. That video could as easily have been an advertisement for a Hollywood action-blow-things-up-and-kill-bad-guys movie, or a videogame, as an ad for NBPD.