The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department is targeting Millennials, Gen Z and other groups in a new recruitment campaign with advertisements placed on New York subways.
The advertisements ask “foodies, gamers, techies and influencers” to join the department, with a Q.R. code that leads to the department’s hiring page.
D.C. police spokesman Sean Hickman said the campaign is the first time D.C. police have recruited in New York. He said it’s due to the fact that those looking to join the NYPD often have to wait several years, while in D.C., police offer monthly academy classes.
“Because of this, many people from New York and New Jersey join our department. In January, we launched our NYC system-wide subway ad campaign. We want to attract people who want to make a difference in the community now — not wait on a list for a few years,” Hickman said.
Hickman told WTOP News that the advertisements are looking to recruit people with an array of soft skills — in communication and empathy — who may never have thought of joining the police before.
“Our new recruitment campaign is seeking to reach Millennials, Generation Z members, veterans and second-degree candidates, or those who may have never considered a career in law enforcement but have the soft skills needed to be good police officers. These skills include empathy, conflict resolution, strong communication skills and more. We want people to see themselves through our recruitment campaign and encourage them to apply,” Hickman said.
The department has also placed ads on the outside of D.C. metro buses. Because subway ridership is still reduced due to the pandemic, D.C. police hope that the ads can reach more people on New York subways.
In addition to ads on public transit, the department has also launched a widespread social media campaign.
“At the end of the day, we want to hire the best candidates to be police officers in the nation’s capital — and that requires us to embrace new marketing strategies,” D.C. police said.
After the hiring freeze in 2020, the D.C. police are actively looking to bulk up their staff. Currently, the department is at 3,550 officers.
There are also other benefits to joining the D.C. police force over the NYPD. The starting salary for a D.C. police officer is substantially higher — at $60,199 — versus $42,500 for rookie NYPD officers.