Seattle PD meet challenge, make lip sync video

SEATTLE — Seattle police went all out, taking up the challenge from officers in Norfolk, Virginia, to create a lip sync video.

Dozens of officers in uniform, Seattle firefighters and ordinary citizens performed in the video along 4th Avenue in Belltown.

It showed a face of Seattle police most of the city's residents have likely never seen. Police officers in uniform break dancing to home-grown Macklemore on the very streets they are sworn to protect.

"I think it's wonderful," exclaimed Spring Pinckney, a longtime Seattle resident.  "And they had it on TV already. They're doing it all over the country. And I want to see Seattle do it."

"I think it's wonderful," agreed Ken. "There's a lot of competition across the country. I'm glad to see Seattle PD step it up and especially do a Macklemore. That's great."

"I mean they're people," said Dmitry Tokarev. "They can have fun. But you know, would they pay for them to do that?"

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That question was put to Seattle police, too. A spokesman said the officers got permission to take part in this video. But they are doing this on their personal time and they are not getting paid.

"Oh, if we're not paying for it, sure," said Tokarev, changing his mind. "Let them have fun."

But what about his concern about taxpayer money? "You got to spend wise, right?" he added.

Seattle's finest have tried unorthodox approaches to their public work in the past with mixed results.

In 2013, some off-duty officers handed out Doritos at that year's Hemp Fest in what was dubbed ''Operation Orange Fingers.'' It was designed, they said, to acquaint the public with what was allowed under the state's then-newly minted recreational marijuana law. But some officers refused to participate; one saying ''we sink lower every day.''

Seattle police have had more success with their annual community picnics. This one in Ballard in 2016 came during an especially deadly period for policing. By July of that year, 32 police officers around the country had been killed.

This latest bit of community outreach comes as the city's interim police chief is celebrating her historic appointment to the top job. So Carmen Best was asked what she thinks of her officers dancing for their public.

"You know what that shows me is that we have a lot of camaraderie and a lot of morale," said Best. "We are so excited. I can't wait to join in on the lip sync. And we'll see where it goes."

Naturally, that begged the question: Does the chief break dance?

"I'm not really a break dancer," she said, laughing. "But I'll do what I can."

The chief was true to her word. Seattle's mayor was there, too.

And perhaps with good reason. At last check, the video the Norfolk Police Department did has more than 30 million views. Several other police agencies around the country have accepted the challenge as well.

Watch video from behind the scenes below.