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Result is all that counts

The city of Hillsboro’s police chief recruitment video has certainly received its share of attention. When was the last time any municipality’s recruitment video got a mention on CNN, and by Wolf Blitzer no less?

But there was Blitzer on “The Situation Room” last week, playing a clip of the video and pointing out it was “going viral.” It was also featured on a police website known as PoliceOne.com — a site reported to be a top national resource for police officers. In fact, PoliceOne.com posted the city’s video with this headline: “Best police recruitment video ever?”

Our initial take on the video was a bit negative, or maybe we were just taken by surprise. Was it a joke, we wondered? Why was a recruitment video for a new police chief of Oregon’s fifth-largest city — clearly, very serious business — being turned into a spoof or a comedy act?

Yet after further review, we warmed up to the production, which was created by Resonance Productions, a Beaverton company.

The city of Hillsboro certainly knew what it was getting into when it contracted with Resonance to execute its video. Right there on the Resonance website is the following statement, which describes the overall philosophy behind the work Resonance creates: “Each production should be treated like it’s a work of art that leaves a lasting impression on its audience. Break convention, push the envelope, and try something new,” it read.

“Push the envelope” is the key phrase here.

Remember, this video would never have seen the light of day if Hillsboro City Manager Michael Brown had not given it the green light, something he reported he had done “enthusiastically.” Doing so was a gutsy move, we believe, and Brown showed a lot of confidence in giving the go-ahead. Brown probably realized some would deride the production, but he went with his instincts, and it appears to have paid off.

Yes, some called the video “immature” and “unprofessional,” and a former police chief slammed it because he believed it was making fun of the Hillsboro Police Department.

But that is part of the campaign’s charm, and the bottom line is: How can anyone argue with the attention the video has grabbed? The buzz has all but guaranteed that candidates all around the country are going to know about the opening for a police chief in Hillsboro, and that’s a big plus. Spreading a wide net makes it more likely the city will find the right person to step in and lead.

Of course, the real proof will be in the end product — the person the city eventually hires as its new police chief. Will he or she be the elusive “right fit” the city has stressed over and over it is so critical for the Hillsboro Police Department to find?

Will he or she settle in for a number of years and be regarded as a strong, capable and wise manager of a department comprising nearly 200 police officers and staff?

The recruitment video’s production is very lighthearted, even silly in spots, but it’s professionally done and, we believe, puts Hillsboro in a positive light. There’s nothing wrong with making people laugh at times. Even a life-and-death operation like a police force needs to get away from the seriousness now and then and take time for some levity.

This production clearly breaks convention, and that makes it memorable. You can love the video or deride it, but it doesn’t really matter. In the end, the hiring of a competent new police chief is all that counts.




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