The wait is over for anyone following the law enforcement Lip Sync Challenge on Facebook.
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office, in answering the challenge, dropped its video set to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feelin’” on Facebook Thursday.
“We feel competent in our abilities that we’re going to be a one-hit wonder,” Cristie Kahler, director of public information for the Sheriff’s Office, said.
The Sheriff’s Office video follows the Bel Air Police Department lip sync video, featuring OFC Richard Krause “singing” “Boot, Scootin’ Boogie” by Brooks and Dunn, late last Friday afternoon.
Another video features Havre de Grace Police Department’s Capt. Joseph Alton, who’s one of four officers from different agencies lip syncing “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice.
His video, “Golf Cart Karaoke,” was done as a promotion for Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.
Aberdeen Police Department isn’t backing down from the challenge, either.
“We’re surveying the lay of the land right now, but there will be a rebuttal from Aberdeen Police Department,” Aberdeen Police Lt. Will Reiber said.
There was never a question the Sheriff’s Office wouldn’t answer the challenge, Kahler said.
“Things like this are very important to community service and building relationships with community members,” Kahler said. “And it shows that deputies, corrections officers or animal control, are human beings. They have families, lives.”
Across the board, the Sheriff’s Office needs to do a better job of connecting with the community, she added.
“The Lip Sync Challenge helps people feel connected to our agency and the deputies that patrol their neighborhoods,” she said.
The agency solicited input from the public last week on Facebook and received more than 300 responses.
“We received texts, emails, Facebook messages, sometimes multiple ones a day, asking when we were going to put out a video,” Kahler said. “It seems to me as though the community is completely behind this.”
Choreographed by Samantha Hewes-Cramer of Rage Box Dance Center in Forest Hill, the video was shot Wednesday afternoon after an hour of rehearsal and features an appearance by Harford Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler.
It was open to anyone in the agency — deputy, corrections officer or civilian — and about 25 people participated.
“Everybody who wants to be part of this had their say,” Kahler said.
Filming took two takes.
“We had a blast, it was a lot of fun,” Kahler said. “It was nice to relax and try to do something nice for our community.”
‘Spirited … fun people’
Bel Air Police Department’s lip sync to “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” had been shared 7,400 times and viewed 275,000 times as of Wednesday.
“I thought it would be something we do locally, that people would laugh at and say it’s kind of neat and shows our lighter side,” Bel Air Police Chief Charles Moore said. “It’s crazy, it’s gone viral on Facebook.”
It was Krause’s wife, Gina, who suggested Bel Air do a video. Her friends were seeing the videos on Facebook and knowing her husband was a police officer, asked when Bel Air was going to do a lip sync.
Krause is the lead in the video, which includes his wife as McGruff the Crime Dog and members of the department’s Explorer Post, Morgan Turansky and her mother, Stacy Turansky, Katie Wonder, Brandon Kelly, Andy Valdez, Amanda Leighty and her sister, Becca, and Sara Fowler.
Krause is excited about all the attention the video has generated.
“Because it shows it reaches out to a lot of the community, to show them this is their police department, these are the kind of people you have, people who are spirited, caring, fun people. Law enforcement doesn’t always have to look so tough all the time,” Krause said. “Police get a lot of negative press. This is good to say we’re not bad people, we’re good people, people your kids should run to, not away from. We’re here to help and make the community a safer place with a kind touch.”
Capt. Joseph Alton, of Havre de Grace Police Department, admits the lip sync to “Ice Ice Baby” he did with the officers to from the other agencies isn’t that great.
“We were kicking different songs around, this was one we pretty much all knew — which clearly we didn’t, but that’s besides the point,” Alton said.
He was pleasantly surprised at how the video took off: as of Wednesday it had 964 shares and 40,000 views on Facebook.
“Clearly there is a stigma in the world that cops are this or that,” Alton, who came to Havre de Grace earlier this year from the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, said. “We’re all human and clearly we all have a lighter side to us. The part I find neat, is that people can click on the video and laugh.”
He’s also proud that officers from four agencies — Havre de Grace, Maryland Transportation Authority, Anne Arundel County Police and Bowie Police Department — could make the video together.
“That four people can wear four different uniforms from four parts of the state and in five minutes, look dumb, drive around in a golf cart, shows were are just as human as everybody else,” Alton said.