Marty Halloran, the president of the San Francisco POA, says it best.
“We are now in an era where we have to take the responsibility to promote our own profession,” Halloran explains. “We cannot rely on the media or the politicians to defend us and get the real message out about what police do for their communities. In times of controversy, which we are experiencing now, reporters and politicians will betray us if it means bigger ratings and more votes.”
The POA hired the public relations firm Paul Kinney Productions, based in Sacramento, to do the job. Halloran explains that each spot cost between $3,500 to $5,000, depending on the complexity of the story and how many locations were required for the shoot.
The biggest expense was airing the videos. To date, the POA has spent between $60,000 and $75,000 per video to air them on local and cable television.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We’ve received a lot of calls and emails and there wasn’t a negative comment among them,” Halloran continued. “Even comments on Facebook were supportive, and that is very unusual.”
There was another outcome as well. Members of the San Francisco POA, who footed the bill for this extraordinary effort to educate the community, were thrilled with the outcome and grateful to see such positive stories about their work airing on cable and network television.
Here are just a few of the videos in the “San Francisco Police Officers: They Work to Make Your Day” series:
“Lifesaver” — On July 4, Officer Matt Lobre runs into a building engulfed in flames and pulls out a badly burned woman who was close to death. Once he got the woman outside, EMTs took over and Matt collapsed from smoke inhalation. Both he and the woman recovered and he was back at work a few days later.
“Saved Baby Nash” — While on routine patrol, Matt Cloud and his partner got a call for an abandoned baby. Matt held the infant and administered CPR while his partner rushed to the hospital. He carried the baby right into the emergency room. The hospital called later to say the baby would live and he had probably saved its life.
“Unstoppable” — When San Francisco Police Officer Eric Batchelder lost his leg in a motorcycle accident, no one thought he could return to work. But return he did. Today, Detective Batchelder is one of the agency’s most distinguished detectives, making arrest after arrest and compiling a terrific conviction rate in court. He is the only person in the history of the Department to lose a leg and go back working the streets of the City of San Francisco.
You can view all the videos in the series at www.sfcitycops.com.