ALLEN PARK, Mich. (WJBK) - Allen Park police welcomed a new officer to the force with a "shocking" experience. As part of their regular training they hit him with a Taser - and put it up live on Facebook.
The newest recruit with Allen Park Police Officer Anthony Carioti got thousands of views Wednesday afternoon. His mom even watched. And she even posted some words of encouragement, telling her son he was born for this.
"My phone was buzzing and shares and people texting me saying, 'Oh my God you got it, oh geeze,'" Carioti said.
It's part of training and, well, an initiation here as well as departments all over. The thought is, if you are going to have the tool you should know what it does.
Detective James Thorburn pulled the trigger. We asked him if there was ever any hesitation on his part.
"No, I have done it so many times it doesn't get old. Let me clear that up right now," said Det. James Thorburn quipped. And this time, it was his idea to broadcast it live.
"Why not share it and be transparent? Because that's what we are trying to be," he said.
Four years ago Detective Thorburn took over social media for Allen Park Police. He wanted to engage with the community differently, even make them laugh even and, most importantly, humanize police.
"We do things in a sarcastic tongue and cheek kind of way and for our community. It works pretty well," he said. And he's got a knack for it. Who says warnings from police have to be so serious?
"It’s not just us talking at you, it is us talking with you," Thorburn said. "Which I think is paramount."
The social media entertainment came at Carioti's expense this week, but he's all for the community engagement.
"I think it's good for people to see us not as robots out there enforcing laws and looking for things to write tickets on," Thorburn said.
The clever posts will keep coming as long as Thorburn is behind the keyboard. He says, believe it or not, that cops can be funny.
"We are behind closed doors, but we're trying to let that out a little."