Teens put the grit in Garner

A quiet town? Wait'll you see their police recruitment ad

Staff WriterJuly 4, 2007 

— If HBO wants another gritty cop show, they should contact the kids who made the new Garner Police Department recruitment video.

Garner is enjoying its lowest violent crime rate since 2000 and hasn't had a homicide since 2005. The ad, however, plays like a clip from the video game "Grand Theft Auto."

The spot, posted on the police Web site, begins with a Garner cruiser revving an engine that sounds like a rocket launching. A charging guitar takes over as the video cuts to a SWAT officer standing tall in tactical gear and sunglasses with an automatic rifle across his chest.

That gives way to an officer, gun drawn, stalking past rows of lockers in a school hall. A tactical team -- shields up, more guns -- crashes through a door. Then a hapless suspect is overtaken by a police dog who clamps down on the perp's dangling shirt sleeve.

The video was created by Eagle Productions, a group in an Enloe High School television production class. The students worked with the department's SWAT team and used stock footage. They worked for seven months to produce a video that appeals to people in their early 20s, said Dawson Harris, 17, one of the five students.

The result: 30 pulse-quickening seconds worthy of "Miami Vice."

"A lot of SWAT-team stuff is what young people like to see," said Harris, a senior this fall.

Chief Thomas Moss said the students were ideal for producing the video.

"Who is better able of designing a video targeting 20- and 21-year-old kids than other kids?" Moss said.

Moss expects the department will make a donation to the video program.

The video has been on the Web site for three weeks.

New recruits may be surprised by life on Garner's streets. On Monday, police responded to a few larcenies, trespassing and domestic calls. They handed out 11 traffic citations.

The chief likened the video to military recruitment commercials.

"You see the action stuff," Moss said. "You don't see soldiers marching through the mud."

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