Coming soon to a theater near you: The Saint Paul Police Department on the big screen

Saint Paul Police Officer Anna Taylor never dreamed of being a movie star; she always wanted to be a cop. But on Friday, Dec. 21, she’ll make her silver screen debut.

Taylor is the star of “Be You, With Us,” a new recruitment film from the Saint Paul Police Department that will be shown during movie previews at 11 Mann Theatres throughout the state.

The minute-long film tells the story of a young girl who uses steely determination to overcome challenges and ultimately achieve her goal of becoming a Saint Paul police officer.

It’s theme: “In a world where you can be anything … be you … with us.”

Its goal: Inspire girls to consider a career in law enforcement—specifically with the Saint Paul Police Department, which has faced challenges in its efforts to attract women officers.

“We’ve worked incredibly hard over the past three years to attract and retain more female officers, but the efforts haven’t flipped the script in terms of applicants,” said Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell. “But we’re not giving up. We’ll continue our mentoring programs, recruitment events for women, advertising and other outside-the-box efforts such as our Law Enforcement Career Path Academy.

“And we’ll look for ways to connect with audiences in new ways, where people are open to seeing the profession from a different point of view.”

The $5,000 film was produced by David Puente, a local filmmaker who developed the concept after talking to Axtell about the challenges of attracting more women to law enforcement.

Axtell then approached Michelle Mann from the Mann Theatres organization about the possibility of showing the film in movie theaters during previews.

“Todd is a longtime family friend and we’ve been following his journey and the police department. When he approached us, I thought it was a wonderful idea and couldn’t be happier to support the effort to diversify the SPPD,” said Mann. “The film is very well done and its message is so powerful that I am sure it will resonate with audiences. We’re happy to provide this public service and help encourage people to be themselves, see all of life’s possibilities and follow their dreams. Ultimately, that’s what going to the movies is about.”

For a list of theaters that will be showing the film, visit manntheatres.com.

More information about joining the Saint Paul Police Department can be found at stpaul.gov/departments/police/step-forward.