Publicity campaign being planned for city police

March 01, 1995|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,Sun Staff Writer

In the coming months, you'll see billboards in Baltimore touting the Police Department, and you'll hear radio spots about its good deeds.

There will be messages about a youth choir sponsored by the department, a mentoring program and efforts to revive a Police Athletic League in the city.

It's all part of a two-year, multimillion-dollar advertising drive designed to spread the word about the department's work in the community, Greg DesRoches, president of the Advertising Association of Baltimore, said yesterday.

Mr. DesRoches joined Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and Police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier at police headquarters to announce the campaign. More than 50 area companies -- including advertisers and media outlets -- have agreed to contribute brochures, air time, newspaper space and other services worth $3 million to $5 million.

The advertising industry and the news media want to help improve safety in Baltimore and to brighten the city's image, he said.

"We recognize that when we come together, we are without parallel as an influence," Mr. DesRoches said. "If this becomes a better place to live and work, more businesses will come to Baltimore and we'll thrive."

Mr. Frazier wants the public to hear about the work his department is doing.

"We have to celebrate every victory," the police commissioner said. "Whether it's clearing a park or putting in playground equipment. It's one of those things where I think we just can't get too much exposure. In this case, we've gotten too little."

The publicity will help police as they seek to improve ties to businesses and communities, he said. The department is involved in community programs, such as working with block captains and building the athletic league throughout the city.

Mr. Schmoke said the campaign also would aid the department's recruitment efforts, which sometimes fall short in city neighborhoods.

The advertising association has not developed the messages it will use in its campaign, Mr. DesRoches said.

But once developed, they should be hard to miss.

An association official said every major media outlet in the area has agreed to donate time or space.

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