An Alabama police chief’s attempt at making a TikTok video for community outreach purposes has gone viral.
The hilarious video shot by Anniston Police Department Chief Nick Bowles and Officer Jacob Ford has already racked up nearly 600,000 views on the popular social media video platform.
In the video, Bowles can be seen playfully arguing with fellow officer Ford about how to properly shoot the video. He then uses a silly Soulja Boy filter while announcing the department’s decision to use “The TikTok” for community outreach.
Ford then takes over the video to say they “started this TikTok page to kind of do a little community outreach and kind of reach out, so everybody can kind of get an inside look at what we do here.”
Bowles told Fox & Friends that he wanted to use TikTok to be “relatable.”
“Everybody’s got that parent or child, that relationship that, you know, you need to be corrected on all these new internet things that are coming out,” Bowles said.
Ford explained the chief’s directorial vision.
“His idea was, ‘Hey, I’m going to play that boomer guy who doesn’t really know what to do with the phone,’” Ford said. “He was like, ‘I just want you to correct me constantly.’”
Bowles hopes that using social media for community outreach will build trust with the community and remind them that police officers are real people behind the badge.
“[It’s] no secret that law enforcement’s been kind of run over the past couple of years,” Bowles said. “So we wanted to show everybody in the community, especially younger folks, that we’re humans just like everybody else and we have a sense of humor.”
So far, the strategy been working. The department’s TikTok account has already grown to over 37,000 followers, and the video has garnered a lot of positive comments.
“I’m getting texts, emails, smoke signals — however they can get in touch me with me — I’m that old,” Bowles said. “But my watch is sitting here blowing up this morning. People watching your show right now. I think it’s going to be great. … We’re going to take it as far as we can and hope not to get fired.”
Ford added that the feedback from within the department has also been positive.
“They love it,” Ford said of his colleagues. “At first, they were kind of hesitant, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I want to do that.’ But now they’re all about it. They want it.”