Nowhere have I seen a better example of the gulf between combat cops and community cops than in these two recruiting videos. A friend recently sent them to me with the comment "Police recruitment videos speak volumes about livability of a place…"
Yes, they do.
Both cities are low crime and only one murder has occurred in either community over the past few years. Both have higher than average income levels with similar demographic mixes.
Newport Beach, California has 85,000 residents and Decatur, Georgia has 20,000, although both are adjacent to large cities (Los Angeles and Atlanta). While Decatur is smaller, the relative police strength is similar with both cities under 200 officers per 100,000 residents.
In social science this is gold! Social conditions are never the same and cross-jurisdictional comparisons are always imperfect. But it would be difficult to find two communities that are more apple-to-apple similar for comparing police services.
Except they don't compare. At all!
Who knows if policing reflects recruitment videos. But culture often shows up in videos like these. After all, each department had to approve them for public release so they obviously think these are the best images that represent what they are all about.
That is a frightening thought!