As the lip sync challenge continues among Texoma’s police departments, local law enforcement officers who’ve participated in the viral video trend say it’s not so much about the online views, but about changing the public’s view of the profession and its people.
“It was a lot of fun and it’s a great way for different departments to show their individuality and to show a different side of themselves than what the community normally sees,” Grayson County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Sarah Bigham said.
According to ABC News, the lip sync challenge got its start on June 19 when a deputy of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office recorded a video of himself singing, “Fuiste Mala” by the Kumbia Kings. The video was published on social media, where it quickly garnered more than a million views. Multiple departments stretching from Arizona to Massachusetts have created their own lip sync videos in response and have kept the movement going by challenging neighboring agencies.
Sherman Police were took up the challenge in early July by recreating a scene from the 1986 movie “Top Gun” in which Tom Cruise’s character and his fellow Navy airmen sing, “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling” by the Righteous Brothers. The video has been viewed nearly 8 million times
“We just tweaked it a bit,” Mullen said. “Took it from a bar to a doughnut shop, to play on the whole cop stereotype thing and just because we thought it was funny. It really took off from there.”
Mullen said while the extent of video’s success was unexpected, he was glad to see it reach so many people and hoped that it would show a more relatable side of the department and its officers.
“We’re not just robots behind a badge,” Mullen said. “We’re humans, we’re people. We watch the same movies you do, go to the same restaurants you do and we have a sense of humor, so we laugh at the same things you do.”
Following the release of its video, the Sherman Police Department challenged the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office to take a swing at its own lip sync video. On July 19, the agency released a nearly seven-minute long video which showed staff singing “Ain’t No Honky Tonks in Jail” by George Goss and “It’s the Hard-knock Life” from the musical Annie.
“There were a lot of people behind the scenes — businesses, people who volunteered their services and their time — that helped make everything possible and that’s what it’s about — connecting with the community and having them understand that we need help on our projects,” Bigham said.
Denison Police have been challenged as well, but have not yet released their video. Lt. Mike Eppler said Denison PD’s response is in the works and once published, the video will play into the department’s broad-ranging use of social media.
“We get a lot of information by using social media,” Eppler said. “We use it to help identify criminals and solve cases. But we also use social media to put out information about the department itself and share what we’re doing. It’s just a really good tool to inform the public about what’s going on.”
Eppler said police nationwide are under more scrutiny than ever, meaning officers themselves need to be better than ever. And the lieutenant said he felt the lip sync challenge was a great way for any departments to showcase its best.
“We do cut up with each other and there’s a lot of levity, but when it’s time to get serious, then we’re all business of course,” Eppler said. “So, I think it’s a good thing that we’re able to do this and reach out to the community and show them a different side of law enforcement.”