Local law enforcement agencies have briefly stepped out of their role as public servants and into one of entertainers.
Several Shenandoah Valley departments recently have participated in the nationwide lip-synch video trend, which shows another side of officers. Instead of protecting citizens, cuffing suspects or ticketing speeders, officers can be seen shaking a leg and singing along to popular songs.
The Strasburg Police Department uploaded the most recent video, which portrays a rendition of Montgomery Gentry’s “My Town.”
Strasburg Police Chief Wayne Sager said the song was selected because its theme fits nicely into Strasburg’s setting.
“It talks about the water tower and the diner. I thought this would be a great song to incorporate the highlights of the Town of Strasburg,” he said.
Sager said the department’s goal is to capture the essence of the community and illustrate the officers’ love for the town.
To capture that essence, the video was filmed at familiar spots throughout town including the library, the post office and the Strasburg Diner.
Strasburg was challenged to create its video by the Front Royal Police Department after it offered a version of Brittney Spears’ “Baby One More Time.”
Front Royal Police Chief Kahle Magalis said there was not much thought put into the song choice but that officers thought it would be funny and the department wanted something “lighthearted and humorous.”
Front Royal also challenged the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and Magalis, a former Sheriff’s Office major, was not sure it would be accepted.
Magalis said he spent a lot of time with Sheriff Daniel McEathron over the years “and I wasn’t sure if he was going to bite on this or not…and I was happy that he did.”
McEathron said there were numerous citizen requests for the office’s participation and Front Royal’s challenge did not hurt. The response came in the form of officers lip-synching and dancing along to the B-52’s “The Love Shack.”
McEathron said it was fun filming the video, which offered a lighthearted view of the serious duties the officers’ job encompasses. In the video, a complaint is made to the office regarding “the love shack” and officers set out to investigate. Upon their arrival, they find other officers are having a dance party and cannot help but join the fun.
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office also participated with its version of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” Lt. Warren Gosnell said after watching other department’s humorous take on the challenge, the office wanted to think outside of the box.
He noted that Sheriff Lenny Millholland did not want to “do something silly” and that he is a very patriotic man. So, the office opted to use the video as a tribute to veterans, many of whom are depicted in the video.
Whether the videos are on the humorous or serious side, they all have received thousands of views on Facebook: Frederick County’s video is at 305,000, Warren County’s at 73,000, Front Royal’s at 379,000. Strasburg’s views are at 161,000.
Sager said the feedback has been “unreal” and some of the videos have turned into law enforcement agencies’ largest community outreach effort ever. That outreach has spanned far outside of the area, and the videos have received views all over America and in Europe.
Magalis noted: “I think it certainly illustrates the fact that police officers have a sense of humor and it humanizes the badge. I guess to some degree to see cops relaxing and having fun.”
Sager added: “It shows that law enforcement officers are human, that we are no different than anyone else.”
While creating the video was fun, and the outreach was great, Sager said he did not think any of his officers have any untapped potential to become professional entertainers and that “we should stick to police work.”
On The Net
To view the videos, visit each police department’s Facebook page: