By Jordan Achs
Via Wyoming News Exchange
LARAMIE — As the Lip Sync Challenge swept police departments around the country last year, members of the Laramie Police Department knew they wanted their video to be more than just officers singing in a car — they wanted it to have a message.
LPD Assistant Chief Robert Terry said they never expected their message to resonate with a large number of people on a national level. But now that the video has gone viral, it is one of 30 law enforcement lip sync videos competing for a spot on CBS’s Lip Sync to the Rescue live television special later this year.
“We wanted to do something a little bit up-scale, raise the bar a little bit,” Terry told the Boomerang on Monday. “Once we started planning that, I guess we all wanted it to go viral and get attention, but I don’t think any of us expected it to be near as big as it was.”
The music video, featuring officers lip syncing to “The Champion” by Carrie Underwood and Ludacris, shows examples of different people overcoming their personal struggles. Terry said the “powerful message” resonated with a lot of people when the video was released last year, with many leaving comments about the impact it had.
“I was really happy that people liked it and that they saw the message, not just that it’s some police officers, but they actually saw the message of struggle and overcoming struggle,” Terry said. “I think we reached a lot of people; I’m still getting messages on the Facebook page about how this has touched them, how it relates to something in their life.”
The message helped the video spread, gaining around 800 comments and more than a million views since its 2018 release, Terry said.
While the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, Terry said they did receive a few comments telling officers to “get back to work.” The police officers who lip synced and danced in the video, he added, all volunteered their personal time for the rehearsing and two days of filming.
The video, Terry said, never would have been possible without help from the community, both those who helped shoot and edit the video and those who starred in the video or provided a filming location. Nid Collins especially, he said, was heavily involved in the vision of the music video and helping make it the best it could be.
It was important to the LPD and those involved, Terry said, to help shine a more positive light on law enforcement and show how integrated officers are with the community.
“We’re all part of the community, and that was the only reason, really, why we wanted to do the video is just to show people that police, we also live here and raise our families here,” Terry said. “Things in law enforcement that are really popular are usually something negative, so it was really neat to turn that around and have something positive reach that many people.”
Although the video received viral attention when it was released, getting enough votes to be featured on CBS is another story. The voting deadline is months away, but Terry said it’ll take a lot of votes to compete with some of the larger cities vying for the same spots. Laramie is the only Wyoming city competing in the top 30 against municipalities such as Seattle, Washington, and Richmond, Virginia.
“The same people that liked the video, we’re going to have to rely on them to vote,” Terry said. “Wyoming is so small population wise, so we’re kind of at a disadvantage.”
To cast a vote for LPD or to watch their lip sync video, go to www.cbs.com/shows/lip-sync-to-the-rescue/vote/.