Police Videos Continue To Go Viral

Police Videos Continue To Go Viral

by Steve Gamel

When Lieutenant Jimmie Gregg and the rest of the officers at the Corinth Police Department realized they’d been challenged by the nearby Hickory Creek PD to take part in a social media lip sync battle, they were prepared to act fast.

“We knew [the lip sync battle] was hot and trending, so we had already decided to have some fun with it,” Gregg said with a laugh. “When they challenged us, the timing was perfect. We had it out there within an hour. There weren’t any professional cameramen. It was done with an iPhone and an app. We were old-school.” Greg added, “It was a blast. We wanted to show everyone our lighter side, too.”

The Corinth PD’s song of choice? Party in the U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus. It’s been more than a month since that video dropped and it has more than 240,000 likes and 330 shares. After appearing to start up in Central Texas as a simple way to boost department morale, these lip sync challenges have spread like wildfire and include crews of officers from nearby Corinth, Hickory Creek, Lake Dallas, Denton, and Flower Mound to Austin, San Antonio, Laredo, San Angelo and Norfolk, Virginia. Norfolk’s video of Uptown Funk, among others, has been featured by USA Today. Locally, Hickory Creek did a hilarious rendition of Summer Days from the movie Grease, Lake Dallas tossed its hat into the ring with Eye of the Tiger, and Flower Mound sang Meghan Trainor’s Me Too.

Most of the earlier videos simply had the officers singing behind the wheel of their cruisers. Since then, shoots have become much more elaborate with camera crews, aerial shots, and a host of “extras” like members of the local fire department, property and evidence employees, and even the
bomb squad.

“I think this humanizes officers from all over who do a tough job every single day,” said Molly Fox, the director of communications for the Town of Flower Mound who also pointed to the Harlem Shake and Ice Bucket Challenge as previous examples of officers showing their fun side in an effort to engage with their communities. “When you’re in the middle of a traffic stop, you’re probably not going to see this side of the officers, but these are great people. And the way we thought of it was, ‘If we are going to do this, we have to be all in.’”

Lake Dallas police officer Allen Sawyer agreed. “There are a lot of great videos out there, but we never viewed it as a competition,” Sawyer said. “We wanted to have fun, and in many ways, we were winging it out there.” Not only are these videos going viral locally, but many police departments are getting comments and shares from overseas. Gregg said Corinth has heard from people in Uruguay, Belgium, and even Tasmania. Sawyer said he’s heard from viewers in England and Sydney, Australia.

“Putting it out there and seeing the responses have been great,” Gregg said. “As you can see, there’s like 12.8 million views on our video, and our friends total went from 9,700 followers to 40,000 in two weeks. The messages are coming from all over. They’re not only just liking it, but they also want their police to engage with them in this manner. We wanted to humanize the badge. We are people, too; we like to sing, dance, have fun, and work as a team. It all worked out.”

Thank you, officers, Can we get more videos, please?

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