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Police Videos Show What Happens 'If I Was A Bad Guy'

Jessica Palombo

The Tallahassee Police Department is giving tips for how you can avoid becoming the victim of crimes. And, they’re hoping those tips reach a wider audience with a series of funny videos called “If I Was A Bad Guy.”

All the “If I Was A Bad Guy” videos start out with an everyday situation. Eighteen have been posted on the Tallahassee Police Department’s Facebook page and on YouTube since July.

In a recent one, a woman is walking to her car in a shopping center parking lot. She puts her packages on the ground behind her while she looks for her keys. Then a man walks up behind her. He turns to the camera and says, “If I was a bad guy, this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the situation. I could take any of those bags, I could take her purse, or I could even take her.”

He could be a bad guy.

But then he says, “I’m not. I’m investigator Scott Beck with the Tallahassee Police Department.”

Beck said, “Actually seeing it, it actually helps that light bulb go off; it is that easy and can be done that quickly.”

In other videos, he demonstrates how easy it is for a bad guy to steal a cell phone, walk into an unlocked house and drive drunk. Many have festive music and a comedic vibe.

But TPD public information officer Dave Northway, said, it’s all for the serious goal of public safety. “Even if you watch it and you think it’s kind of goofy, at least you heard the message,” he said.

He said, he and Beck wanted to figure out how to bring their safety tips to a younger audience.

“The younger generation tends to get their information very quickly from their cell phones, from their smart phones, and they tend to want them quick and move on to the next one,” Northway said.

That’s why they make each video between 30 and 75 seconds long. Northway and Beck shoot, edit and post all the videos online, entirely from an iPad. Some of the videos have hundreds of views.

And Beck said, the police are not worried that “If I Was A Bad Guy” could give people ideas for how to become a bad guy.

“I think if you’re going to be a criminal, you’re going to have that predisposition; I’m going to do it anyway,” he said. “I’m not going to put that idea in your head.”

To see all of the “If I Was A Bad Guy” videos, visit the Tallahassee Police Department YouTube page.