GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It's a new year and, for many people, that means a new beginning. For anyone who's ever dreamed of a career in law enforcement, Gulfport Police Department is hoping the idea of a fresh start will help encourage them to take that step now.
The department released a video on Sunday after teasing a "big surprise" in multiple Facebook posts over the weekend.
According to Sgt. Josh Bromen, Gulfport Police's Public Information Officer, the agency's word for the year 2017 is "opportunity."
"We want to make sure people realize what types of positions are available with our department so they don't miss their opportunity," said Sgt. Bromen.
The department wanted to take a different approach to recruiting future employees than other departments often do, said Sgt. Bromen. So they enlisted the help of amateur filmmaker Dustin Williams, a criminal justice student at Southern Miss.
"If you look at many other law enforcement recruitment videos, they are more fast-paced and have this high adrenaline," explained Sgt. Bromen. "We wanted to show our department in a family aspect, to really foster what we do and what we're about so people know when you come to Gulfport Police Department, you're joining as a member of our family. It's not just a job."
In the video, different departments within the agency are highlighted, including the traffic division, SWAT team, and marine patrol. Additionally, places and scenery from throughout the Port City are shown, with an emphasis being placed on Gulfport's education, beaches, and businesses.
"This is a beautiful city. The entire Gulf Coast is beautiful," said Sgt. Bromen. "We have businesses opening up every day and new restaurants opening and so many things coming. So there's a lot of opportunities here."
At the end of the video, Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania makes an appearance, speaking about his personal decision to be an officer with the department.
"Deciding on a career is challenging. Deciding on a law enforcement career is important," says Chief Papania in the video. "I know. I made that decision 25 years ago, and I made it right here at the Gulfport Police Department. And what has kept me here are the same things you need to contemplate as you contemplate your career. I remain here because of the people of integrity, a community that supports us, and an agency that stands proud in a profession that is noble."