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Sheriff's office uses videos and social media to foster goodwill

Newest production is a Christmas light show

The Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office has taken to social media to foster good will and wish residents a Merry Christmas with Christmas light show video, produced by dispatcher and videographer Steve Schubert. 

The video features five deputies flashing their cruiser lights in sync to Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo.”

Schubert, who had entertained the thought of doing the video for some time, decided to produce it after one of the dispatchers suggested he give it a shot.

“So I got five of the deputies together one night in the parking lot when they were just going off duty and we were able to do what you see in the video,” Schubert said. “A lot of people think its choreographed which some of it was, but to get them all to do it right, it just wasn’t happening. So, a lot of that was edited.”

According to Schubert, the video took approximately 30 minutes to film in the parking and three to four hours to edit.

“When I was first thinking about it, I thought it was going to be a lot harder than it was,” Schubert said. “Don’t get me wrong, it was hard but, it didn’t take me as long as I expected it to take.”

The video was posted to Facebook on Dec. 11, and had more than 32,000 views and 1,000 shares as of last week.

Schubert has already started planning a new Christmas lights video for next year. He will feature area fire departments and EMS in the video, along with deputies.

Schubert is an 11-time international award-winning videographer. He got his started in Washington DC as a forensic videographer. He’s also done wedding videography and opened his video production company, Schubert Productions.

After about 10 years of running his company, Schubert decided to go to work at the sheriff’s office. His was spending his weekends working and wanted more time with family. Now he does videography on his on time, and strictly for the sheriff’s office.

Deputies bond with children while Christmas shopping

Schubert has also posted videos he has made the recent K9 memorial dedication, Christmas with a Deputy and the sheriff’s office lip sync challenge The Outsiders, which has had more than 362K views and won international awards — a 2021 Telly in the category of Non-Broadcast/Public Relations/Lip Synch Video, a Hermes Creative Awards in the Electronic/Social/Interactive Media Category, the Platinum Award and a 2021 Viddy Platinum Award.

“It was an honor to win that one. We had over 500K views on that lip sync video,” Schubert said. “People commented from all over the country. When I first put it up, I didn’t expect that.”

The lip sync video came about after Guernsey County residents started calling out the sheriff’s office to participate in the challenge. 

“Residents would post come on Guernsey County we want to see what you have,” Schubert said.  So, with Schubert behind the camera, the office showed Guernsey County and the rest of the country just what they have with “The Outsiders” lip sync video.

Shubert noted the videos and social media activity is to show the sheriff’s office care cares about the residents and community involvement is more than just policing the county.

“Basically, the more we can show the public we are normal people and boost what the perception is about our office, the better the things we can do,” Schubert said. “We are out there also showing the kids that (deputies) are humans, especially with all this stuff that has been going on and shed a good light on the office.”

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Schubert also does the videos for Story Time with Jeffrey Paden and Friends. 

Story Time started in March, when a teacher contacted Sheriff Paden to request he read a story to the students, and do it online, due to COVID.

According to Shubert, once he and Paden went into the recording room to do the story, it clicked with him that this was something they should be doing all the time. They started posting stories read by the sheriff and other first responder on the first and 15th of each month on their Facebook page. On special occasions, such as holiday, they post a couple of extra stories.

The most recent story time featured a reading of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

On Dec. 24, an extra Story Time featuring Paden dressed as Santa reading “A Christmas Story” will be posted.

“We are getting good comments  from the school teachers,” Schubert said. “Their students love it.”

Schubert is also part of the office’s Community Engagement Team which is also includes Lt. Dustin Best who handles the office’s website, Dispatch Supervisor Jeff Hannon who updates the most wanted and road closings, and Dispatcher Jaime Hopps who handles the social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. 

County looking to use social media to gauge residents’ needs

The Community Engagement team meets at least twice a month, to brainstorm ideas that they use to engage with the public through social media and activities to foster good will in the community. 

“Due to recent events, law enforcement isn’t looked upon like it used to be,” Best said. “So we are doing this to try to interact with the community and kind of educate them on what we do and interact with the community more for the purpose of saying we are here for you.”

Best said the Community Engagement Team was formed the beginning of this year as a social media committee. The team plans to ramp things up after the new year and get children involved in some of the activities and events. 

The team is currently working on developing children programs, school-safety programs, and plans to continue activities such as the children’s coloring contests. 

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