Video: Va. police department's lip sync battle to 'Uptown Funk' goes viral
The video had been viewed more than 15 million times and shared more than 460,000 times on Facebook
By Katherine Hafner
NORFOLK, Va. — On their lunch breaks Monday, some of Norfolk's finest danced their way to internet stardom.
The police department – responding to a challenge from police in Corinth, Texas – released a video last night of more than three dozen officers dancing and lip syncing to "Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars. By Tuesday afternoon it had been viewed more than 15 million times and shared more than 460,000 times on Facebook.
"I'm just so glad people are enjoying it," said Corporal William Pickering, a Norfolk Police Department spokesman. "I'm at a loss for words."
It all started a little over a week ago, he said, when the Corinth department uploaded a lip sync video featuring Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A." and issued a challenge to other departments, including Norfolk's, to record one of their own.
"It was like 'All right, we know what we've got to do now,'" Pickering said. He and his colleagues in the public information office over the past week developed choreography and corralled police officers and members of the fire department to participate.
They asked Officer Christopher Taveras in special ops to be the star.
"He said 'Let me guess, Bruno Mars,'" Pickering said with a laugh. "I guess people have told him there's a resemblance. He was on board."
But the organizers didn't know who would actually show up Monday at noon to film. When lunchtime rolled around, about 40 officers did and they recorded two full takes.
The video was filmed at the Third Patrol Division on Asbury Avenue and follows the dancing gaggle – led by Taveras – through the halls, out the garage and into the parking lot, all while showcasing police and fire equipment including trucks, armored vehicles, motorcycles and even one officer's baby.
#NorfolkPD Lip Sync Challenge
YOUR WAIT IS OVER!!!! The Norfolk Police Department was challenged by the Corinth Police Department, Texas to a #lipsync battle and we gladly accepted. As you can see we all had a great time filming the video, which we have to point out was done in #onetake! #NorfolkPD is challenging Seattle Police Department, Norfolk Constabulary, Virginia Beach Police Department, and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (OFFICIAL) Thanks for watching!!!! Bruno MarsPosted by Norfolk Police Department on Monday, July 9, 2018
"We wanted to show the community our primary objective is to protect and serve the community, but we're not robots," Pickering said. "We share a lot of the same interests the community has."
The trend has spread across the country, with departments taking up similar challenges in Iowa, Georgia and California.
Next up: Virginia Beach, Seattle, St. Louis and Norfolk, England. That's if they accept the latest lip sync challenge from Norfolk, Virginia.
Pickering's favorite part of the experience is the positive feedback the department's received since putting up the video.
One comment that stuck out: "You guys won the internet."
©2018 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)