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'Officer Big B': Fort Worth police looking to recruit through viral video

The Fort Worth Police Department hopes the recruitment video can help fill more than 70 new officer positions approved by city council members.

FORT WORTH, Texas — "Howdy folks, Officer Big B here. Are you looking for a new job?" are the first words out of the mouth of a Fort Worth police officer trying to recruit people from all backgrounds.

"Officer Big B" does a lot of walking and talking in the department's recruitment video that has gone viral. As the star of the video, you learn right away that officer Buddy Calzada loves his job. 

Calzada joined the Fort Worth Police Department five years ago.  

"I absolutely love going out and smiling," said Buddy "Officer Big B" Calzada, "I love connecting with the community."

Prior to joining FWPD, Calzada and his wife were operating a non-profit, which gave them the opportunity to interact with the public on a regular basis. 

Calzada decided since he was serving the public through their non-profit, he would become a policeman to add protecting as well. His wife supported the idea, especially since owning and operating a non-profit didn't afford them a sensible and affordable family health insurance plan like others who worked in corporate America.

Although Calzada is not an official part of the recruiting team for the Fort Worth Police Department, several months ago he and the team and media specialists started working on putting together a creative attention getter.  

They identified the audience they would target and decided to try to show off all of the different crime fighting tools and specialized services throughout the department used by officers on a regular basis. 

"We had rehearsed the lines. I had gone over the lines, but we had never put it in the full motion of what Officer B would sound like," said Calzada. 

"Officer Big B" sounds like a used car salesman in their recruitment video.  

They ended up getting the finished products in only about three retakes, according to Calzada. They also had a target total video time of two minutes and 30 seconds so they could format it for social media.  

In the video, he shows off all the perks at Fort Worth Police Department.

"Well, of course, we got horse. We have got our mounted unit right here," said "Officer Big B."

The recruitment video could not have come at a better time. 

Fort Worth council members recently approved hiring 72 new officers. That hiring process which starts with applications is underway as of Oct. 1, 2022.  

The Fort Worth Police Department also just received a final report from an independent auditor that outlined internal and external problems stemming from highly publicized incidents like the October 2019 police shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson and the December 2016 wrongful arrest of Jacqueline Craig.  

The recruitment video also comes as Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes is working hard to improve their relationship with the community.  

But even with a video that has been retweeted more than 1,200 times and viewed more than a quarter million times, Fort Worth PD is competing with police departments nationwide and locally.  

The Southlake Department of Public Safety is taking a much softer recruiting approach. Their recruitment video has mellow music throughout it. 

But Calzada hopes hiring is as successful as their viral video, especially after using every breath during his sales pitch as "Officer Big B."

"He starts running out of breath there on purpose because, I mean, he's literally sold everything he could sell. And then he takes a big breath," said Calzada. 

The recruitment video ends with suggestions on how to reach out and start the process of becoming a Fort Worth police officer.  

"Give us a call, send us an email, It doesn't matter if it's a.m. or p.m."

Those interested can visit the police department's website.

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