On the heels of unveiling a kinder, gentler recruiting campaign geared toward millennials, the NYPD opened a one-stop shopping center Monday for job applicants at the old Police Academy in Gramercy Park.
The eight-floor facility on E. 20th St., which used to house NYPD recruits, is now the Candidate Assessment Center’s headquarters.
Unlike past efforts that zeroed in on the adventure of the job, the new campaign offers gauzy images of attractive multi-ethnic millennials in pastel T-shirts, and the slogan, “It’s you we want. Bring who you are.”
The millennials “see things in a different way,” said Assistant Chief Kim Royster, who oversees the Candidate Assessment Center. “They are very visual, so for the purpose of engaging them, we’ve taken this campaign in a very inclusive way.”
But ad executive Ellis Verdi called the campaign “disappointing.”
“The job of being a police officer requires tremendous passion, and this advertising falls flat,” said Verdi, the founder of the DeVito/Verdi ad agency near Union Square.
“This is like a fashion campaign. It trivializes the job.”
Verdi said the focus on millennials also misses the mark.
“It’s marketing speak without real understanding,” he said. “The real way to get to a person of a young age and appeal to his interest in being a cop is to tell them the unbelievable good they can do.”
Verdi said he would favor a slogan that says: “It’s a big city — we could use some help.”
Police Commissioner James O’Neill rejected the criticism.
“There is no dichotomy between being someone who cares about community and being a crime fighter. It’s one and the same.”