You’ve Never Seen a Public Safety Video Quite Like This. It’s Got Zombies.

A blog about murder, theft, and other wickedness.
Nov. 22 2013 3:20 PM

The Los Angeles Police Department Has Produced a Zombie-Themed Public Safety Video

Now that zombies have conquered both the big and small screens, I guess it’s only natural that they’d make their way to the next frontier of filmed entertainment: police department public-safety videos. The Los Angeles Police Department has produced what is almost certainly the world’s first zombie-themed theft-prevention film, featuring a horde of felonious ghouls who would rather break into your car than eat your brains. The whole thing’s meant to alert Angelenos to the dangers posed by car burglars—who, like the undead, are relentless and foul-smelling, and easily repelled by locked doors. It’s way better than World War Z.

I’m not sure whether this means that the zombie trend has jumped the shark, or whether it’s poised to become bigger than ever, but, either way, I am glad that this video exists. (This is as good a place as any to note that the CDC did something similar in 2011 with a tongue-in-cheek website offering "zombie preparedness" tips.) If you don’t have time to watch the entire thing, here are a few highlights: 2:04, when a heroic cop subdues the zombie horde with an unenthusiastic “Hey, stop!”; 3:10, when a zombie suspect’s arm falls off as she is being handcuffed; and 4:07, when Capt. Jeffrey Bert of the LAPD ratchets up the terror with some frightening statistics about the rate of car burglaries in Los Angeles.

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It isn’t broadcast-quality, of course, but as police-video standards go, “Invasion of the Zombie Bandits!” is truly outstanding. Most official police department videos are pretty dire, and they almost never reflect the latest trends in popular entertainment. But maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that Los Angeles cops were the ones to break the mold. As Richard Winton reported in the Los Angeles Times, “One of Bert’s officers is also a Hollywood makeup artist.” And that’s not all: “His adjutant, Officer Curtis Davis, is a screenwriter.” But he really wants to direct.

Justin Peters is a writer for Slate. He is working on a book about Aaron Swartz, copyright, and the rise of “free culture.” Email him at justintrevett@fastmail.fm.

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