Originally Published: July 28, 2018 7:04 p.m.
Updated as of Saturday, July 28, 2018 3:03 PM
Law enforcement officers and employees have tough jobs. They handle tense calls for help. They run toward danger. They make quick decisions in complex situations. And they sing and dance in challenges with rival colleagues and departments.
That’s right, sing and dance.
“Somebody call the po-po, I’m goin’ crazy!”
That wasn’t Dierks Bentley on the Prescott Police Department Facebook page, but Bentley’s “5-1-5-0” song in a video Prescott’s finest did as part of the #LipSyncChallenge that is sweeping the nation.
Some police departments channel Taylor Swift, while others try to dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” For Prescott Police’s video, which was posted Friday, it is a montage of several songs and dancing, said David Fuller, PPD’s lead police officer.
“Honestly we were not challenged. We have a couple younger civilian employees and they were kind of the driving force behind this,” Fuller said, giving credit to Elizabeth Poffenberger, a part-time employee of several years who is “in tune with social media.”
“We put out a post on Facebook, asking ‘Hey, does our community want us to do this?’ and it just exploded,” Fuller lamented. “We would have been happy with 150 likes, should have said 1,500. … We said ‘we kind of gotta do this now’ – foolish us!”
From there Lessons by Lexe wanted to get involved, he said of their choreographer, and Making A Scene Productions – “They were phenomenal to work with.”
It comes down to showing the community police are people too, who also like to have fun.
In true police fashion, they threw themselves out there, and the response has been unbelievable.
“We’ve received tons of comments through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – thousands and thousands of interactions, shares and re-shares. It’s been a great experience.
“Positive public relations helps us be successful,” Fuller said. “We’re only going to be as successful as our community allows us to be. And this community really supports law enforcement.”
That it does. Some police departments boast 48,000 views on their videos after one day; one in Phoenix had about 200,000 views after a week.
Prescott? Try 204,000 views and 7,400 shares in 24 hours.
Fuller admitted it goes a long way toward fighting the bad rep police have had nationally in recent years. “We’re blessed to not have the national issues here.”
Now other local law enforcement have a decision to make. At the end of the Prescott video, Deputy Chief Amy Bonney challenged the Prescott Valley and Chino Valley police, as well as the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.
“We have not heard from the other agencies. I don’t know if they will take us up on it,” Fuller said. “It’s all good and fun, and not a slight if they do not.”
Prescott Valley Assistant Chief James Edelstein said his agency has a video in the works, but a release date has not been determined.
As for Prescott’s singing and dancing, “We’re not entertainers, we’re professional police officers.”
With a great sense of community and humor. Can't touch this! Kudos, Prescott PD.