When it came time for the York Regional Police in Ontario to devise an outreach campaign aimed at preteens, it didn’t fall back on basketball games and fun runs. Instead, it looked to what’s popular at the moment: superhero movies.
With funding from Provincial Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy, the police department produced United, a short film about a nameless, black-clad superhero who battles enemies with help from local citizens, and starring officers and community volunteers. The idea is to depict “the vital partnership that must exist between police and community,” but in a way that might actually appeal to kids.
“I work on the prevention side — and the 8 to 12 (age range) is where you wanna be. Because once they reach 12-plus and they’re already in trouble, it’s like four times as much work for half the result,” Constable Tony Cedrone, who produced the film, tells the Toronto Star. “We have them when they’re young; they still like the cops.”
The United hero even got the thumbs up from Stan Lee at Fan Expo. “I took a photo with Stan Lee!” Cedrone says.
The approximately five-minute film will debut Nov. 14 during the York Regional Police Youth Film Festival.
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