McGruff Timeline

1979 An animated dog in a trench coat who says, "Take A Bite Out Of Crime" is introduced at a New York City press conference in November. 


1980 Broadcast and media receive the first public services advertisements (PSAs) from the National Citizens' Crime Prevention Campaign.


On July 1, the animated dog is now officially known as McGruff the Crime Dog after Officer John Isbell of the New Orleans Police Department wins a national contest to "name the dog."



1981 Preliminary research by the University of Denver' s Center for Mass Communications Research and Policy finds that nearly 50 percent of all adults have seen or heard at least one of McGruff's public service ads.



1982 The National Crime Prevention Council, whose mission is to forge a nationwide commitment by people acting individually and together to prevent crime and build safer, more caring communities, is established to manage the McGruff campaign and promote crime prevention throughout the .


McGruff House Program launched in Utah .


1984 U.S. Postal Service releases a McGruff stamp.


McGruff takes on the issue of child protection with the release of new public service advertising.



1985 New PSAs raise awareness of teen victimization and promote teens as resources in crime prevention.



1986 McGruff appears on a special episode of ABC's Webster television show, giving Webster and his classmates advice on coping with bullies and reducing school vandalism and theft.



1987 A recognition survey of the American public shows that 99 percent of children, 96 percent of teens, and 90 percent of adults recognize McGruff and his slogan, "Take A Bite Out Of Crime."


1989 McGruff's campaign planning team develops a three-year plan to convince people that they must work together to help defeat crime and improve community life.



McGruff Truck Program launched in Utah .



1990 McGruff celebrates his 10th anniversary.  A study by Saatchi & Saatchi shows that McGruff's messages are being listened to.  The study reveals that 90 percent of the American public believe that they have a role in preventing crime.



1993 The campaign introduces Scruff, McGruff's nephews, to help McGruff teach children how to handle dangerous issues and situations.  The campaign welcomes a second volunteer advertising agency, Vidal, Reynardus & Moya, to address the Spanish-speaking population through the Unete A La Lucha Contra El Crime campaign.



1995 The media campaign addresses gun violence and youth.  The Unete A La Lucha Contra El Crimen Campaign distributes powerful print and outdoor PSAs featuring Hispanic celebrities.



1996 McGruff helps out at the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta , reminding visitors and athletes to "play it safe." The campaign produces posters and brochures in three languages that offer simple-to-follow advice on reducing the risk of crime victimization.



1997 Folk trio, Peter, Paul and Mary adapts "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" to create the "Where Have All the Children Gone" PSA. The ad depicts young victims of gun violence and their grieving families and friends.



In late 1997, the campaign begins the "Investing in Youth for a Safer Future" initiative.  The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice joins the 20-year commitment by the Bureau of Justice Assistance to co-fund this initiative.



1998 The National Citizens' Crime Prevention Campaign sets a new national record for donated media support with $128 million.



Chilean children and adults are introduced to Don Graf (McGruff) and his nephew Escraf (Scruff) and learn to Dale un Mordicso a la Delincuencia ("Take A Bite Out Of Crime.")


NCPC's website,, is launched.


1999 McGruff the Crime Dog's creative team uses computer-generated graphics to create new television advertising targeting children ages .  The first ad features McGruff in 3-D addressing the bullying issue.


NCPC's website for children,, is launched. The National Citizens' Crime Prevention Campaign website,, is launched.



2000 McGruff celebrates his 20th anniversary. McGruff goes on his 20th Anniversary Tour to visit 20 communities across the nation that witnessed striking reductions in crime, partly as a result of their work with NCPC and their use of McGruff in their crime prevention efforts. Each community received a new McGruff costume, special commemorative plaque, and NCPC's most popular publications.



2005 McGruff celebrates his 25th anniversary.