BANGOR, Maine — It won’t be confused with “Law and Order,” “CSI,” or “Miami Vice,” but there’s a new police video out that may get your attention, especially if you’re thinking about a career in law enforcement.
The Bangor Police Department’s new recruitment and promotions video has been airing only on local cable television access channels and online for the past two weeks, but it’s already creating some buzz.
And that has the boys in blue tickled pink, especially Bangor Police Department community relations officer Jason McAmbley.
“It was an idea we’d discussed for a while and I was put in charge of it when we started a community relations position, which I filled in October,” said McAmbley. “This was our first big project.”
McAmbley approached Husson University’s New England School of Communications to see if students would be willing to take on the project.
“We approached them initially last fall and they took us on for their spring semester. They only do a couple every year,” he explained. “It’s only about 10 minutes long, but it is wonderful.
Everybody I’ve talked to has really been impressed after seeing it.”
And you can’t beat the price.
“We had to pay for the materials and we provided lunch for the students, but they provided the manpower and staff and it ended up costing us $200 for a great video that would have cost thousands anywhere else,” said McAmbley.
The video covers almost every single service and position offered by the Bangor Police Department, the third largest in the state with 83 officers covering a 34-square-mile area.
“We wanted it to show the opportunities available at the Bangor Police Department, one of only three agencies in the state that handles everything ourselves, from arson to burglaries and accidents, hostage situations, homicides, bombs and airport emergencies, accident reconstruction and crime scene investigations,” McAmbley said. “There are dozens of specialties within the department and many are totally unknown to the public.”
Bangor’s bomb squad is a good example of those under-the-radar services.
“I thought everyone knew we had a bomb squad, but hardly anyone did,” said McAmbley. “We also have a full-service evidence technicians unit and nobody ever hears about them, either.”
McAmbley can’t say enough about how impressed he is with the video, given its technical features, professional editing and polished appearance. Perhaps most striking is the way it’s able to cover so many areas in such a compact time frame.
“We just thought it would be a good time limit for use with job fairs, and it had to be quick and not too lengthy,” McAmbley said.
Rodney Verrill, NESCom’s executive director of video productions, oversaw the project as one of four executive producers. Most of the production staff — which included 10 videographers, three editors, two producers, a script consultant, production coordinator, graphics artist, writer, narrator, and a colorist — were students.
“The students were so knowledgeable and so eager to show off what they have and what the can do,” McAmbley said. “They filmed on site for weeks. They were at the station, the airport, they went around with K-9 and bomb units, evidence recovery, ride-alongs with officers. … They really covered it all.”
NESCom has done similar projects for the Maine Warden Service and Maine State Police.