The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office in Washington State reportedly ran recruiting advertisements in New York City’s Time Square that lasted from Nov. 4 to Nov. 5, with costs totaling $12,000.
“It is a media explosion,” Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said, according to the Spokesman Review. “For the $12,000, I probably just gained $100,000 of free advertisement.” The billboards read, “Spokane County Sheriff, Washinton State” and “Now Hiring 40 lateral officers,” with a badge in the bottom right corner that reads, “$15k hiring bonus.”
#SpokaneCounty Sheriff’s Office Makes Time Square Appearance. If you haven’t heard, we’re #Hiring!https://t.co/weU82asevm#LawEnforcement #Trooper #Deputy #Officer #NewYork #Washington #Idaho #Oregon #seattle #portland #Denver #Austin #California #SanDiego @OUTFRONTMEDIAUS pic.twitter.com/iqNNxkwtLE
— SpokaneSheriffOffice (@SpokaneSheriff) November 3, 2021
Knezovich has been on an advertisement buying spree spending thousands of billboards around the country, the Spokesman Review reported. Knezovich took billboards out in Seattle, Portland, Denver and Austin, Texas, where he says local leaders have spoken negatively about law enforcement, according to the Spokesman Review. (RELATED: New York City Breaks Open Floodgates For Lawsuits Against Police Officers By Ending Immunity).
“New York was one of the heaviest areas where their local leaders really came out and did not support their law enforcement, actually disrespected them,” Knezovich said.
The ultimate goal of the advertising is not to hire new officers but poach them from other cities, which is called a lateral hire. According to the Spokane Review, Knezovich believes the drop in enthusiasm and harming of public image is due to the highly publicized killings of black men by police officers.
There is also a notable spelling error in the advert which has drawn major ridicule online with “Washington” is spelled without a “g” on the billboard.
Did someone say Washinton? pic.twitter.com/fAxYfJQaOk
— WazzuCrew11 (@WazzuCrew11) November 4, 2021
However, Knezovich knocked critics who called out the missing letter and said he is “disgusted” by the media’s focus on the mistake, NBC New York reported.