A police department in Oklahoma is following a nontraditional approach to recruitment this year, relying on a cop’s performance of the song “For the First Time in Forever” from Disney’s animated film, “Frozen.”
30-year-old Master Police Officer Carl Pendleton was watching “Frozen” a few months ago when an idea struck him suddenly: he was going to create an extra special recruiting video for the Norman Police Department.
“I was like, ‘Man that would be perfect!’” Pendleton told ABC News. “I’m a big fan of Disney and ‘Pitch Perfect’ and all those kinds of things, which people don’t think a police officer would be into.”
The entire process of filming and editing took about 12 hours — and Pendleton did the entirety of the production work himself.
“I came after work in the evening when no one was in the building,” Pendleton said. “It took me about four hours total to film everything, and the editing took about six to eight hours to finish.”
The video features Pendleton dancing through the hallways of the Norman Police Department building… all the while replacing standard lyrics of the “Frozen” tune with his own.
“Applications are open yes once more,” he sang. “Who knew that we’d be hiring today / For years, I’ve roamed these empty halls … / For the first time in forever, we’re hiring at NPD. For the first time in forever, if you have questions come ask me.”
The video has received more than 5,000 views on YouTube since Tuesday.
“I received 10 emails between when I left yesterday at 4 p.m. and when I returned here this morning at 8 a.m.,” said Pendleton, who is responsible for the department’s social media accounts. “In the last hour, I received about five phone calls.”
Pendleton received mostly positive reactions from his colleagues after posting the video, especially from his supervisor, Lt. Lance Arnold, who thinks Pendleton targeted a specific population interested in a different side of police work.
“The segment of the population that we inherently always had trouble recruiting are the professionals out there who want to change their current career and they just don’t know how,” Arnold said. “When they think of the police they think of the recruiting videos showing the SWAT team and bike team, and that may not be what they’re really after.”
Pendleton hopes the positive feedback from the video will get the point across that police officers are human and can have fun.
“We deal with some heavy stuff sometimes in our job,” he said. “But it’s important that you have a chance to smile, have a chance to laugh, maybe not to the level that the video shows. This is a very positive place.”
The Norman Police Department is accepting applications until Feb. 13, 2015. The 53rd Norman Police Academy is scheduled to begin July 13, 2015.