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Popular Tampa Police 'Grinch' Video Wins National Award

Patch logo Patch 7/9/2019 D'Ann Lawrence White
© Provided by Planck, LLC, d/b/a Patch Media

TAMPA, FL — A public safety video produced and aired by the Tampa Police Department in December has received the Best in Show award from the National Association of Government Communicators.

The police department was honored for the video, "The Grinch Who Stole Packages," at the NAGC's Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards banquet in Arlington, Virginia.

In addition to receiving the Best in Show award, the organization's top honor, the Grinch video received first place in the non-paid social media outreach category.

"The competition was very tight, and we spent considerable time selecting this year's Best in Show," said Chris O'Neil, president of the National Association of Government Communicators. "Ultimately, we felt the Tampa Police Department's entry earned this recognition because their entry clearly demonstrated the highly effective delivery of information through creative and engaging outreach that was produced in a very cost-effective way and yielded a significant return on investment."

Tasked with creating a fun and informative way of alerting residents to holiday package thefts, now former Tampa Police spokeswoman Janelle McGregor took to Twitter to find a "Grinch" who would be willing to lend a costume and talent for the public safety message. LeRoy Vanek saw the post and volunteered himself for the part of the Grinch and his dog Mojo for the Grinch's pup, Max.

"We never thought that a video that started out with a casting call on Twitter would lead to two top-level national awards," said McGregor.

"The Grinch Who Stole Packages" social media video reached more than 102,000 viewers across three digital platforms. More importantly, the campaign played a significant role in the police department's 27.5 percent reduction in package thefts in December.

"As a department, we're always looking for creative ways to make our safety messages stick. This video is a great example of an out-of-the-box idea that resulted in the community paying attention and taking steps to protect their holiday deliveries," said Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan.

The Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards honor the creative excellence of federal, state and local government communicators.

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