McGruff the Crime Dog has been encouraging kids to “Take a Bite Out of Crime” for 30 years now. To celebrate McGruff’s big anniversary, the Crystal City-based National Crime Prevention Council has spruced up the old dog’s look.
Perhaps sensing that a mascot who talks to children while wearing a trench coat with nothing underneath is a bit suspect, the new McGruff now sports a shirt and tie, along with less frumpy-looking slacks and shoes.
In addition to a new look, McGruff has a new mission: to help prevent bullying. And who better to talk about bullying than someone who got punched in the face by a Metrobus driver?
Just don’t expect McGruff to get “too preachy.”
“We knew that if our audience caught us talking down to them, we wouldn’t be effective,” said Adam Kline, who wrote the screenplay to McGruff’s new animated video. “So while we treated the subject earnestly, we always tried to inject some comedy.”
You heard right, kids — get ready for a wisecracking but earnest crime dog wearing business casual, coming to a school/computer screen/bus stop near you.