The Norfolk, VA Police Department won the internet Tuesday as it rocked the lip sync challenge with a Cecil B. DeMille production of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' Uptown Funk. The video, posted late Monday, went viral, garnering over 17 million views by Tuesday afternoon. (Update: Views hit 24 million by midnight, Tuesday, 40M views by Thurs.and 50M views by midnight, Friday.)
The Norfolk Police Department was challenged by Texas' Corinth Police Department, who offered their lip-sync version of Miley Cyrus' Party in the USA. The Corinth PD also challenged the Lake Dallas and the Little Elm Police Departments.
The viral Police Department lip-sync challenges started with a video of Texas sheriff deputy Alexander Mena, lip syncing to Fuiste Mala by the Kumbia Kings. ABC News noted that his department posted it on June 19, and other Texas police departments took it as a challenge, responding in kind.
Norfolk's Officer Daniel Hudson directed and produced the Uptown Funk parody video. He said that it wasn't until Friday, July 6th, that ideas began to percolate when he and partner, Officer Jo Ann Hughes, began to brainstorm a plan. Hughes, aka the Silver Fox, can be seen rocking out to the right of the lead dancer, Officer Christopher Taveras. Completing the front row trio is Officer Will Pickering at left.
Later in the video Officer Daniel Shelton can be seen dancing with his infant daughter. Shelton was babysitting and came in on his day off to participate in the video.
Hudson said that they worked on blocking on Friday, and on Monday morning did one rehearsal with their five core dancers, which included Officer Kyle Boone and Officer Hakima King along with Hughes, Pickering and Taveras.
By noon, they were ready to film, and did it in one take. Now, there's a lunch hour put to good use -- after this, Norfolk's police may be moonlighting as Broadway dancers!
Hudson said that they were all surprised at the immediate response, as he agreed that the perception of police has been a sticky area lately. "We have been so touched by the overwhelming response of love. Everybody (in the video) did a phenomenal job ... it's hard to put in words what it did to us as a department... people often only see us as enforcers, this gave us the opportunity to showcase our individuality, and to show that we can have fun."
Viral fun! During the hour it took me to write this article, they racked up another million views - what a wonderful example of the healing power of the arts!
The Norfolk Police Department has, in turn, challenged the Seattle Police Department, the Norfolk Constabulary, the Virginia Beach Police Department, and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.