Next week is Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) and GovLoop is teaming up with the Partnership for Public Service to promote PSRW by running a special series called "Meet the Government Mascot." Each day we've been introducing you to a new mascot, then we'll run a contest on May 6-8 where you can vote for your favorite.
Day 4 of Public Service mascots and it's time to get into the big dogs, literally. If you don't know who McGruff the Crime Dog is you've probably been under a rock.
Launched in 1980 by the National Crime Prevention Council McGruff has been teaching kids to "take a bite out of crime" for the last 30 years. McGruff is a tool used by police to help kids sniff out ways to avoid and put a stop to crime.
While the name McGruff is synonymous with cutting down crime he could have easily been named something else. In fact the number one choice for his name was Sherlock Bones but I guess they saved that for a pet detective.
According to his back story McGruff started out as a dog just wanting to cut into crime. To find out how he went undercover and saw bad things like drug dealing, violence, and puppies being picked on at the dog park (didn't make it up promise). After figuring out common themes in crime he decided to pass his advice along.
McGruff has had several national ad campaigns over the years and has also been very visable in classrooms. Still to this day police officers dress up as McGruff (where can I get my hands on one of those suits!) and educate kids on drugs, bullying and safety. Recently McGruff has been venturing out from mainstay crimes and
tackling newer issues like identity theft and cyber bullying.
McGruff is so big time he even has his very own website which offers kids and parents a smorgasbord of games, advice and videos. McGruff's proactive approach of prepping kids to recognize and stop crime before it happens continues to be an important step in getting the community to take an active role in crime prevention.
MEET THE OTHER GOV MASCOTS: