SHEBOYGAN, Wisc. — Police beat officers Kevin Post and Israel Deutsch are taking a fun and innovative approach to connecting with their community.
The two beat cops make goofy yet informational videos on the popular social media site, TikTok. The platform is extremely popular with Gen Z, where people share quick videos set to music.
"So we're trying to reach out to kind of the next generation," Officer Kevin Post, who patrols Sheboygan's northside, said.
The goal is to connect with a younger generation that is often more difficult to reach. That's why these cops are meeting these young adults where they already are, on TikTok.
"How to reach younger kids and build a connection or relationship with middle school kids, high school kids. And it makes it difficult because all of them are on electronics and a lot of them are playing video games and stuff. So TikTok is a good platform to reach out to them and build connections," Officer Israel Deutsch, who patrols Sheboygan's southside, said.
According to the digital marketing agency, Omnicoreagency, in February 2020, of the 800 million users, 41 percent were between 16 and 24 years old.
Made my TikTok debut with the Sheboygan TikTok Cops. pic.twitter.com/eyWBrNY398— James Groh (@JamesGroh_) January 11, 2021
"The sooner we start building positive relationships, the more we can build on that as they continue to age and continue to work with us," Post said.
Plus, it's more relevant than traditional methods. The videos they make are short, fun, and normally incorporate relatively modern pop-culture references.
"Our ultimate goal is again to make a fun environment to receive a message that is important for them, rather than just words and being business forward," Deutsche said.
Since this is a story about TikTok, TMJ4 News Reporter James Groh had to make a video with them.
You can watch that below:
This is by no means a full-time job. They try to put a video out every week or so. If that doesn't happen, they aren't too concerned either.
What's more, they don't have a ton of oversight while doing this. Their bosses trust them to put up appropriate and good content. However, since they started doing this, a lot more of the Sheboygan police force has downloaded TikTok.
This story was first published by James Groh at TMJ4 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.