A recruitment video created by the Newport Beach Police Department went viral this month, attracting comments from viewers for its intense use of guns, sirens, police dogs and gunshots.
The video was posted on the Agitator and compared against a tamer recruitment video from the Decatur Police Department in Georgia. The two videos are on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of police work, with Newport focusing on no-nonsense police enforcement and Decatur on working hand-in-hand with the community.
Newport shows a police officer pointing his gun at a suspect who has his hands on the trunk of a car, an officer scaling a wall during a pursuit and a police helicopter searching for a suspect. Decatur highlights police officers patrolling on bikes, giving directions to a community member and stopping to talk to residents.
"These are the videos each respective department has chosen to represent what being a cop is all about," Radley Balko of the Agitator wrote in his story.
But some viewers said Newport's video is all hype.
"From someone who lives near Newport Beach (I work in Irvine), it is not that dangerous," Rebecca, an Agitator reader, commented. "I am not sure why they decided they should go with the violent, loud, action-packed approach. Crime-wise, it's pretty boring."
Dinsdale Pirhanna, who lives in Newport Beach, also weighed in, describing the city as "a beachside community with no gangs or poor people" and police who are "well-known to be overbearing and treat the smallest violations like violent felonies."
The Newport video was also posted in an OC Weekly report and sparked similar comments.
"I spent 22 years at Compton PD. I had no idea Newport Beach was more dangerous than the ghettos of LA," one said.
When the Newport Police Department was asked by Patch how it feels about the video going viral, and the debate it has stirred online, spokeswoman Kathy Lowe said, "We have no comment."
Since the video debuted on YouTube on Nov. 14, 2008, more than 110,000 people have watched the department's "Are You Qualified?" recruitment piece.
It is unclear whether the video is still used to recruit police department candidates.
But for those with a potential interest in joining the Newport Beach Police Department, here are some of the most interesting calls police have responded to over the last year.