The Time Is Now

Support local, independent reporting.

Help the city we love by joining Friends of Willamette Week.


An Understaffed Oregon Sheriff’s Office Released A New Recruitment Video, And It’s Memorable

"My message to you is we will not stop until we have a 24-hour patrol service, a full detectives division, a canine division and a full jail," says Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel.

The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is recruiting new officers with a flashy music video that makes working at the Southern Oregon law-enforcement agency look like an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride.

The recruitment tool has a militaristic vibe that might distress Portlanders who have long criticized police tactics in Oregon's largest city.

But the southern Oregon county that includes Grants Pass is eager to hire new deputies after a jail levy funded new positions. The sheriff's office was cut to the bone six years ago, going from 20 patrol officers to just two, KTLV reported.

Crime spiked in Grants Pass and the surrounding areas after those budget cuts, enough to catch national attention. An 80 percent increase in theft and almost 70 percent increase in burglary earned Josephine County a feature in The New York Times in 2013.

The video, posted Dec. 20 on YouTube, appears to be an appeal for job applications.

As a generic rock number with violent lyrics trills in the background, the video shows close-ups of search-and-rescue teams and slow-motion pans of bullet casings hitting the pavement.

Jump ahead to timestamp 1:21 if you want to skip Sheriff Dave Daniel's impassioned plea for job applicants and get straight to the good stuff.

Officers fire off rounds at nothing, kick in unlocked doors and race their cruisers down a stretch of rural road. They pose with puppies, dive off of a speed boat, and stage a wilderness rescue.

All the while, a 2015 Shinedown track blares: "Round 'em up, let's go/ Oh, my eyes are seeing red/ Double vision from the blood we've shed/ The only way I'm leaving is dead." (The video ends with a disclaimer that the Josephine County Sheriff's Office does not own the rights to any of the music used in the video.)

Daniel opens the video with a (comparably boring) story about his agency's past budget cuts.

"In 2012, lack of funding decimated our sheriff's office and threw Josephine County into a tailspin," Daniel says. "Today we are much stronger, providing a better and more professional public safety service, incarcerating more criminals than ever, and answering more calls for service than ever. My message to you is we will not stop until we have a 24-hour patrol service, a full detectives division, a canine division and a full jail."

He encourages people to apply for openings within his office, and then the frame cuts to black as he says "Enjoy the video."