Alberta Police Use Game to Recruit Young People

December 13, 2010 -

Alberta Police have an interesting way of luring youngsters in to learn more about being a police officer: a video game. The Police department is using new approaches to get youngsters interested in a career in law enforcement and what works better than video games?

The official game of the Alberta Police Department is appropriately called Alberta C.O.P.S. Impaired Driver and was developed by Edmonton-based software company Firetext International. C.O.P.S. stands for Career Opportunities in Police Services.

Alberta C.O.P.S. Impaired Driver begins by letting the player select one of five police officers who come from different backgrounds. Next, the player is briefed on objectives for the day, and then sent out in a patrol car to investigate and arrest suspects who appear to be breaking the law. The player has 12 minutes to complete three tasks. For every achieved objective the player is awarded a badge.

The game is being billed as a role-playing simulation, and a recruiting tool, of course. If it's good enough for the United States Army, it's certainly good enough for a police department in Alberta - or anywhere else for that matter. The game and other recruiting efforts are funded by the Alberta solicitor general, which aides all 12 police agencies in the province attract 18- 30 year olds into the profession. As the population changes, people retire and the number of people, living in the province grows, it is important to keep pace with the needs of the community.

The game is almost as interesting as the people that developed it. The alliance approached Firetext with the idea of creating a game a year and a half ago, but the company is best known for creating software that allows nightclub patrons to send text messages to a phone hooked to a computer, which then broadcasts the messages on big screens in the bar for everyone to see.

Firetext owner Raoul Bhatt describes the development of the game as an "exciting opportunity to do positive, community-oriented work for the police." Bhatt said that the challenge for him in developing a game about police work was to keep the experience interesting and deliver a positive message about it.

After six months of planning, storywriting, and obtaining approvals, Bhatt went on two police ride-alongs for research.

"Basically, we had to be very respectful," Bhatt told the Edmonton Journal. "There was no drawing of a gun, no shooting people. We had to keep the game really positive. … You can do a shooter game, which is so easy to do — just blow away people. We had to focus on storyline and strategy and really try to be as accurate as possible as to what real police officers have to go through."

You can check out the game here.

Source: Edmonton Journal


Comments

Re: Alberta Police Use Game to Recruit Young People

Ugh I should smack the Edmonton Journal with a 2 x 4 for that glaring error. Then again it is usually more credible than the Edmonton Sun.

There is no "Alberta Police" :P it is divided amongst the RCMP for the small communities, and larger cities have their own municipal police forces. The largest would be the Edmonton Police Service and Calgary Police Service.

In actuality this is being adopted by EPS (Edmonton), and then may be cycled down to all the municipalities.

I don't think this is a bad idea. I kind of want to see it for myself. Here is hoping it encourages a few more recruits for the EPS (good ones...last batch were not so good). However EPS should have got BIOWARE, since they are based in Edmonton as well :) 

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James Fletcher, member of ECA Canada

 
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Andrew EisenMatt - And AGAIN, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published? How is it not accountable to its readership (which, AGAIN, is primarily game industry folk, not gamers)?07/29/2015 - 10:10am
james_fudgeThat's the clean install, for anyone asking07/29/2015 - 9:23am
TechnogeekAlso, it's the upgrade that's available for installation now. You might need to forcibly initiate the Windows Update process before it'll start downloading, though. (If there's a C:\$Windows.~BT folder on your computer, then you're in luck.)07/29/2015 - 8:46am
TechnogeekAdmittedly there's more room to push for an advertiser boycott when you get into opinion content versus pure news, but keep in mind that reviews are opinion content as well.07/29/2015 - 8:46am
TechnogeekMatts: There's a difference between "this person regularly says extremely terrible stuff" and "I don't like the phrasing used in this one specific editorial".07/29/2015 - 8:45am
MattsworknameWait, is that for the upgrade or the clean install only? cause I was gonna do the upgrade07/29/2015 - 8:32am
james_fudgehttps://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows1007/29/2015 - 8:30am
PHX Corp@Wilson, I'm still waiting for My upgrade notice aswell07/29/2015 - 7:57am
MattsworknameWilson: how? Im still waiting for my upgrade notice07/29/2015 - 3:44am
Matthew WilsonI updated to a clean instill of windows 10.07/29/2015 - 2:36am
Mattsworknameargue that it's wrong, but then please admit it's wrong on ALL Fronts07/29/2015 - 2:06am
MattsworknameTechnoGeek: It's actually NOT, but it is a method used all across the specturm. See Rush limbaugh, MSNBC, Shawn hannity, etc etc, how many compagns have been brought up to try and shut them down by going after there advertisers. It's fine if you wanna07/29/2015 - 2:05am
Mattsworknamediscussed, while not what I liked and not the methods I wanted to see used, were , in a sense, the effort of thsoe game consuming masses to hold what they felt was supposed to be there press accountable for what many of them felt was Betrayal07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAs we say, the gamers are dead article set of a firestorm among the game consuming populace, who, ideally, were the intended audiance for sites like Kotaku, Polygon, Et all. As such, the turn about on them and the attacking of them, via the metods07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAndrew: Thats kind fo the issue at hand, Accountable is a matter of context. For a media group, it means accountable to its reader. to a goverment, to it's voters and tax payer, to a company, to it's share holders.07/29/2015 - 2:02am
Andrew EisenAnd again, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published?07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - I disagree with your 9:12 and 9:16 comment. There are myriad ways to address content you don't like. And they're far easier to execute in the online space.07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
 

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