To be fair, Elgin isn’t nearly the only entity to fall prey to a fascinating case of errant municipal or corporate messaging!
Chevy did their damndest to promote the Nova in Mexico, but it’s hard to sell a car with a name that translates to “it doesn’t go” in the native language. Sam & Ella’s Chicken Palace didn’t do very well (say “Sam & Ella” quickly), Passmore Gas and Propane was a patently problematic proposition, and “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux” never did catch on!
Though I will say when the “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life” slogan debuted in China as “Pepsi Brings You Back from the Grave,” there was a massive run on the product. But that corporate glee was short lived when the ensuing lawsuits more than offset the spike in sales.
So, while I certainly understand how that kind of communication gaffe can happen, I’m a wee bit surprised that not a single soul in that vast Elgin City hierarchy had the nerve to raise their hand and say, “Um….Neighborhood Officer Program Elgin? Do you really think N.O.P.E. officer sends the right message?”
Don’t get me wrong! Borne of the recent police reform movement, the thought of a series of NOPE officers living and working within the various Elgin neighborhoods can’t be a bad thing. But NOPE officer? I’m not so sure about that!
To be fair again, I’ve applied that traditional First Ward due diligence to this issue and I managed to come up with the acronyms that didn’t make the cut. And when you consider those possibilities, N.O.P.E officer suddenly doesn’t seem so bad!
Let’s get started!
1. Downtown Officer Program Elgin
This one was problematic on two entirely different levels. Not only would D.O.P.E. officer call that particular patrolman’s intelligence into question, but it too, sends the wrong message. It would’ve been more than embarrassing for the City when residents started showing up at the officer’s door to buy a bag of crack at midnight.
Needless to say, this one was quickly discarded.
2. Municipal Officer Program Elgin
Again, it was a valiant effort, but this prospect was doomed from the get-go for all the obvious reasons. Considering their impossible job, I’m surprised we don’t have more depressed policemen, but the thought of various officers listlessly wandering through Elgin neighborhoods in a sulking, apathetic or bad mood wouldn’t breed confidence in anyone.
So, M.O.P.E officer hit the cutting room floor, too.
3. Precinct Officer Program Elgin
P.O.P.E officer does have a nice ring to it, and it presents a certain sacrosanct PR appeal, but it was determined that some residents might assume these officers only applied to Elgin’s Catholic citizenry and that would be a catalyst for all kinds of freedom of religion confusion and lawsuits.
Not only that, but they’d be so besieged by requests for blessings, confessions, and all sorts of selfies, they’d never get anything done. The final nail in this one’s coffin was the tall pointy white hat and overly large staff would unduly interfere with regular police work.
4. Greater Resident Officer Program Elgin
Playing off the original R.O.P.E. officer theme, I believe this one was City Manager Rick Kozal’s idea. City Councilman Terry Gavin was particularly fond of it, too, but as you might imagine, beyond The Village People, the concept of a G.R.O.P.E officer didn’t get very far in the #MeToo era.
5. Township Resident Officer Program Elgin
This option did receive some serious consideration, but T.R.O.P.E officer was ultimately abandoned because those literary Elgin city staffers feared these officers would be overwhelmed with requests for, “Any literary or rhetorical device, such as metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, or irony, that consists of the use of words in other than their literal sense.”
And who has time for that?
6. American Neighborhood Township Leader Officer Program Elgin
A.N.T.E.L.O.P.E. officer was just too damn long!
7.Citizens Officer Program Elgin
This was my personal favorite, and when you consider the general bleeps and progressive loons the EPD has to regularly contend with, I firmly believe it was flippin’ perfect. But even though C.O.P.E. officer is a heck of a lot better than N.O.P.E. officer, it was roundly rejected.
So, while N.O.P.E officer may be better than most of ‘em, I remain steadfast in my belief that Elgin can do a heck of lot better. Why not simply stick with Resident Officer Program Elgin?
If it ain’t B.R.O.K.E. (Beyond Repair Or a Kaput Endeavor) don’t fix it!