Burlington police using videos to recruit

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Many police departments across the U.S. have been facing the same challenge lately -- low recruitment numbers.

Some departments have been stepping up their efforts to try to get more applicants.

Burlington police have started a new campaign, posting one-on-one interviews with police officers on why they joined the force.

The videos are about 50 seconds long and are being posted to the department’s Facebook page.

The first video with Officer Jerlhey Bonilla was posted last week.

Bonilla was sworn in in June after serving in the National Guard for 10 years.

He says it’s a chance for the public to see police officers as regular people.

“I’m a father,” Bonilla said. “I’m a husband. I’m a son. I’m a brother. I am you. I am just a regular person that goes shopping, regular person who has to do their groceries, regular person that wants to tuck their daughter in bed.”

Capt. Brian Long says Burlington police saw a 20 percent drop in total applications from February-August 2015 to February-August 2016.

“It’s a tough job, but that’s even more reason why we need to focus on getting the right people in that job,” Long said.

In July, Greensboro police started a similar campaign called “Why I Wear the Badge.”

The department posted six YouTube videos of officers explaining why they choose the field.

Winston-Salem police say they’re about 50 officers short.

They’ve also stepped up their social media presence and will also be sending recruiters all the way to New York to look for new hires.