Illinois PD Targeted Teenagers with ‘Call of Duty’ Recruitment Poster

call of duty

In a now-deleted post, a police department in Illinois opted to target younger recruits by mocking up a Call of Duty-themed poster encouraging people to ‘stop playing games and answer the call of duty.’ There was an understandable amount of backlash levelled against this thinly veiled recruitment poster – which some branded ‘tone deaf’ – and before long, it was taken down by the Peoria Police Department.

‘Connect to a Younger Generation’

In the recruitment poster that effectively besmirched the Peoria PD, fresh recruits were targeted and enticed with images of armed and armoured police officers standing in a pose reminiscent of Call of Duty cover art. In a statement, Police Chief Eric Echevarria apologised profusely:

It was never my intention to offend any of our community members with the recruitment flyer that was posted on our Facebook page yesterday. It was simply a recruitment image I thought would appeal and connect to a younger generation. I take ownership of this, and I sincerely apologize. Our goal is to recruit the best and most qualified officers for this police department in the most caring and respectful way.

The image generated an inflamed response from social media users, with some leaning towards political rhetoric. It was highlighted that the poster showed three white men aiming firearms at the viewer, which was enough to enrage some users.

This isn’t the first time that police and military forces have used video games to appeal to a younger audience, of course. Most recently, the British Army attempted to target younger users through Fortnite, promoting a game that replicated a military training scenario and advising players that they ‘belong here’ (in the armed forces).

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