Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Flat feet a plus, but not required

Many of the Springfield Police Department's prowlers are sporting back windshield stickers promoting their Web site. On further investigation, I discovered that it's actually a flash presentation intended to promote recruitment to the ranks of the SPD.

The whole thing is rather long on animation, with a jazzy beat-heavy track looping in the background (I think it might be an N.W.A. sample, but I can't be sure), but short on content. I was particularly fascinated by the page on the history of the department. Here it is, in toto:

In 1834, Springfield's Board of Trustees deemed the Springfield population large enough to hire one constable. Thus, the birth of the Springfield Police Department.

Well, what aspiring crime fighter wouldn't want to become a part of such a storied tradition. My thought process while trying to decide what to have for breakfast is more riveting than that.

I give the department credit for turning to the Web to enhance their recruitment efforts. And they are attempting to be cutting edge in their use of technology, in direct contrast to the city's Web site, but the execution is a more than a bit cumbersome.

The content, however, needs work if they really want to sell the benefits of being a cop in Springfield versus being a cop in any other medium-sized Midwestern town. I have it on good authority that those responsible for the site have been made aware of its shortfalls, but they didn't see the problem.

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