14 police officers, one community service officer appear in video
Officers with the Hannibal Police Department face an assortment of challenges on a daily basis. Recently, a group of HPD personnel participated in a different sort of challenge that tested their ability to "sing" and dance.
With the blessing of Hannibal Police Chief Lyndell Davis, HPD was given the chance to take the lip-sync challenge.
"It's become a nationwide craze involving law enforcement departments singing or lip-syncing, dancing, etc., to popular music," Davis said.
As word of the challenge spread so did momentum for HPD to show its talents. "For about the last two months I, along with several of my officers, have been asked when would HPD be releasing a lip-sync video," said Davis.
Initially, Davis was reluctant to allow his officers to accept the challenge.
"I had several reservations about having HPD involved," he said. "As time went on, I began to see the mostly positive reaction the public was having throughout the nation. Law enforcement had taken such a beating over the last few years by politicians and the national media that this seemed like a potential avenue for law enforcement to better humanize its image and appeal to the millennials."
Finding participants was not difficult. "Some like the attention and it was a fun project to be part of," said Davis, adding that 14 police officers and one community service officer appeared in the video.
The project revealed a surprising amount of lip-sync and dance talent. "I would say some of them came by it naturally," said Davis.
None of the officers appearing in the video were paid.
Among those noticeably missing from the video is Davis. "Because of my current position and previous positions with the department, I have been on TV and radio, and in newspaper and magazine articles off and on for years," he said. "I wanted it to be more about the officers and their service to the community, plus tie in those who have and currently still serve in the military."
Appearing in the video was HPD alum Mayor James Hark. He put on a blond wig and played the role of a bad boy speeder that officers take into custody.
Davis said Hark was more than willing to join in the fun. "He really got into the part," said Davis.
Davis had a voice in what appeared in the video.
"I gave Lt. Jennifer Grote the songs and reenactments I was comfortable with,” he said. “I wanted something to tie in the numerous HPD employees are either previously served in the military or currently still do. I thought it would have an emotional impact for the public seeing the officers both in their department and military uniforms."
Grote was cited for her efforts in coordinating the production. "She got it all together for me," said Davis. "Once I authorized HPD's involvement, I asked her if she wanted to take charge of the project and she enthusiastically said yes."
Neil Sneed was praised for his video-making efforts after he donated his time. "Neil deserves all the credit," Davis said. "Neil did our HEET videos and hiring commercials in the past and always does a great job."
The video, which was shown prior to Tuesday night's Hannibal City Council meeting, can be viewed on YouTube and on HPD's Facebook page.
Public reaction has been positive.
"Immediately after the conclusion of the council meeting, I had both members of the council and public come up to me and express their appreciation of the video," Davis said.
Despite the video's popularity don't look for a sequel.
"We don't have any plans for more videos," Davis said. "We will leave that for the actors and musicians."