ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque-based Boomtime is marketing new social media-based recruiting tools intended to help law enforcement agencies nationwide expand their ranks.
Two new interactive websites and apps went live in August to boost New Mexico State Police and Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center efforts to connect with a younger generation of potential recruits. Now, the company is using those platforms as a model for other agencies across the country.
“It’s designed to drive a younger generation to learn more about the career opportunities open to them,” said Boomtime marketing strategist Justin Butler. “We’re bringing police into the modern era of communications to meet and connect with people where they are accustomed to interacting today — through social media.”
State Police Captain Jesse Williams said Boomtime’s tools are opening a new channel of communication to help resolve a chronic labor shortage that keeps the force well below the 704 officers authorized by the Legislature.
“We have 650 officers now with 17 recruits in the academy,” Williams said. “With retirements, resignations and terminations, we lose three to four officers every month, so we’re just treading water.”
The new website and app highlight the benefits and personal rewards of police work that are often obscured through bad publicity, Williams added.
“It’s a challenge to show the positive things we do,” Williams said. “The website helps us humanize the police force to show that officers are normal guys and gals. They wear uniforms, but they’re people with heartbeats behind the badges.”
The site includes video interviews with officers, shows the range of career options and location assignments and guides visitors step-by-step through the financial benefits and application process.
A mobile app draws users into the website through interactive emails.
The Metropolitan Detention Center site is built on the same platform but is customized to its needs.
“Recruiters can pull up the website right on their phones, or someone at home thinking about becoming a corrections officer can pull it up and get a wealth of information,” said MDC spokeswoman Candace Hopkins.
For Boomtime, a venture-backed web design and software-as-a-service firm, the new platform expands its products and markets beyond its traditional focus on sales-oriented websites for small businesses to agencies focused on recruitment, said CEO Bill Bice.
“There’s a huge market opportunity,” Bice said. “With the exception of Bernalillo County and Beverly Hills, we haven’t found one police force to date without a marketing problem.”