McGruff the Crime Dog
Back in 1980, a dog in a rumpled trench coat said, "You don't know me yet. But you will."
Since then, McGruff the Crime Dog has taught millions of people that the police can't fight crime alone - crime prevention is everybody's business and everyone can help "Take A Bite Out Of Crime."
Through television commercials, comic books, live appearances, and more, McGruff has encouraged Americans to take common-sense steps to reduce crime. Some of his favorite messages are:
1 - To lock doors, leave the lights on when away from home, and let neighbors know when you go on vacation
2 - Do things that build a sense of neighborhood and create communities that don't produce crime and where people look out for each other and kids feel safe
3 - Get involved, to join Neighborhood Watch, and to clean up streets and parks
4 - For children and teens to protect themselves from substance abuse, bullies, and gang violence
These messages are catching on.
In 2004, violent and property crimes remained at their lowest levels since 1973. Criminal victimization is down. And most people know McGruff the Crime Dog, including 76 percent of children ages 9 to 11.
In 1978, the Advertising Council, Inc., accepted the mission of helping the nation learn ways to prevent crime. The Ad Council gave the assignment to Dancer Fitzgerald Sample (now Saatchi & Saatchi), which volunteered its creative time and talent. That work was supported and informed by a group of 19 agencies, which formed the nucleus of the Crime Prevention Coalition of America. Today the National Crime Prevention Council manages the National Citizens' Crime Prevention Campaign, featuring McGruff the Crime Dog and his slogan, "Take A Bite Out Of Crime."
Over the years, McGruff has made thousands of appearances at community and school events and on radio and television. His messages have changed from urging personal, family, and home security to more broadly based crime prevention concerns. In 1984, the U.S. Postal Service released a first-class postage stamp bearing McGruff’s likeness. By the mid-1980s, McGruff was encouraging people to join Neighborhood Watch and clean up streets and parks so they’d be less inviting for criminals. During the mid-1990s, the Campaign addressed the effects of gun-related violence on children. Current issues include volunteering, bullying, Internet safety, and identity theft. And McGruff will soon tackle cyberbullying and telemarketing fraud against seniors.
Some Facts About McGruff
- There are 4,000 active McGruffs (number of costumes in use).
- McGruff has a classy Corvette, a monster truck in Arizona, and a wiener wagon in Florida. But most of all, he likes to ride in patrol cars assisting law enforcement.
- McGruff’s favorite crime-fighting techniques are to teach children specific tips to be safe at home and school and to help law enforcement officers do their jobs better.
- McGruff is a “ham,” so he loves doing public service announcements for television and radio or posing for print or billboard advertising.
- In 2010, McGruff turned 30 years young. He had birthday parties all around the country, making appearances at health and safety fairs and other media events and showing off his 32-foot-tall balloon at county and state fairs. He has blown out birthday candles on countless cakes. He has made the most of these opportunities to spread the word about preventing crime.