Iowa City Police Pull Suddenly Controversial Recruitment Video

By Mark Carlson, Reporter

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By Mark Carlson

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa City police have pulled a recruitment video from the internet after members of the community raised concerns about its content. The video had been on the police website for more than three years before being taken down this week.

“The former Iowa City Police Department (ICPD) recruitment video, developed four years ago, has been a point of community debate due to the chosen music, imagery, and companion music video,” police chief Sam Hargadine wrote in a letter to city manager Tom Markus dated March 26. “The ICPD is responding to the concerns of our citizens by removing the video and developing a new recruitment video.”

The roughly two minute video devotes a large amount of time showing heavily armed police officers executing search warrants to music by the rock band Saliva. Such videos are not uncommon as recruiting tools for police departments, Iowa City police sergeant Vicki Lalla said.

The department had plans to produce a new video prior to learning about the concerns.

“We knew the video was old and it was time to make a new one,” Lalla said. “This [new video] is going to be focused on the city’s strategic plan and showing more of what Iowa City has to offer in general as a nice place to live.”

Lalla said the department is working with the city cable division on a new video that will be released in the near future.

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