What is the Fuss About the Peoria Police Department’s Call of Duty-Style Ad?


What’s the Big Deal with This Ad?

Last week, the Peoria Police Department (Arizona, US) posted a Call of Duty-style recruiting ad on social media which caused quite a stir among the local residents.

The ad, which featured officers in tactical gear holding guns and the tagline “stop playing games and answer the Call of Duty,” drew parallels with the popular first-person shooter (FPS) video game series.

Residents were quick to voice their displeasure, citing concerns over the ad’s promotion of violence and the overt militarization it implied.

Why Did the Police Department Think This Was a Good Idea?

Police Chief Eric Echevarria defended the ad, stating that it was aimed at appealing to a younger audience and connecting with gamers.

He believed that the images on the poster would help resonate with the younger generation, potentially attracting them to consider a career in law enforcement.

Tone-Deaf or Strategic Marketing?

While the intent behind the ad may have been well-meaning, the execution fell flat with the community.

Commenters on social media platforms like Reddit, X, and Facebook criticized the ad as “tone-deaf,” highlighting the violent implications and the inappropriate use of a popular video game franchise’s branding.

Apologies and Promises for a More Thoughtful Approach

As the backlash intensified, the Peoria Police Department issued a statement apologizing for the ad and acknowledging the offense it caused.

Chief Echevarria took personal responsibility, stating, “I want to apologize, sincerely apologize, if somebody was offended or if we offended anybody. That’s on me.

He further promised that the department would be more careful with their recruitment strategies in the future, aiming to approach things from a community perspective.

Not the First Time Police and Video Games Clashed

This incident is not the first time law enforcement has found itself in hot water over their involvement with video games.

  • In 2022, two officers were fired for ignoring a robbery in progress to catch a Snorlax in Pokemon Go.
  • In 2020, a popular Twitch streamer known as “Greekgodx” found himself in a dangerous situation after a viewer falsely reported a hostage situation at his residence. A SWAT team raided his home, only to find that it was a case of “swatting”
  • The Fraternal Order of Police once called for retailers to stop selling Grand Theft Auto games, citing their portrayal of officers as corrupt and encouraging violence against police.
  • And many……..

While the Peoria Police Department’s intentions with the Call of Duty-style ad may have been well-meaning, the execution clearly missed the mark and faced backlash.

After all, building trust and fostering positive relationships should be a top priority for any police department, right?

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