CHICAGO (CBS)–There’s an epidemic sweeping police departments in the northern suburbs–and it’s not the usual run-of-the-mill crime.
Cops in Evanston, Niles, Lincolnwood and Skokie just can’t seem to stop singing and dancing along to the music.
After being challenged by Lincolnwood police, the Evanston Police Department has become the latest suburban police department in the Chicago area to make a video as part of the Lip Sync Challenge, a trend that swept the nation last summer and continues to take social media by storm.
While most Lip Sync Challenge videos feature cops and firefighters only, Evanston police involved the greater community by shooting footage inside Evanston Township High School with the pom pom squad and filming scenes at other locales throughout the city.
The video is set to songs like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” among other popular tunes.
Evanston Police Sgt. Charlotte Hart said filming for the video, released on Oct. 31, took four days.
“It created a lot of fun and positivity and boosted morale,” Hart said. “We think we’re still on a high from it. The community should understand we’re normal people who like to have fun. ”
“Some of us can dance and some can’t, but we can laugh at ourselves and have a good time,” Hart said.
The nationwide Lip Sync Challenge has tasked police officers and firefighters across the U.S. with making a music videos of themselves acting silly while lip syncing to popular songs. At the end of the videos, a police officer usually passes the torch to a nearby police department, challenging them to make the next video.
“Police are often looked at as having strictly-business interactions with the public, but this totally shows this isn’t the case,” Hart said. “It shows we’re normal people.”
Skokie police were the first in the northern suburbs to jump on the Lip Sync Challenge when the department released a rather professional-looking video back in July that features officers dancing in unison to songs like Will Smith’s “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song, “YMCA,” and Psy’s “Gangnam Style.”
At the end of the video, Skokie Police Chief Anthony Scarpelli challenges the Lincolnwood and Niles Police Departments to take on the challenge.
“I think it’s a positive thing when police departments find new or unique ways to communicate with the public,” Scarpelli said. “Producing the video was also an excellent way to build up our social media following.”
Scarpelli said the video has also helped build positive relationships with residents, who often strike up conversations with cops they recognize from the video.
“They say, ‘Hey, you’re the cop we saw dancing in the video,” Scarpelli said.
Lincolnwood Police stepped up Skokie’s challenge, and released their own video in August. The 2:19-minute video opens with a shot inside the police department, where Deputy Police Chief Schenita Stewart gets a call from Police Chief Jay Parrot, who then starts dancing and lip syncing to the song “Bust A Move.”
Niles Police also responded to the challenge when police released their own video in September with cops dancing along to songs like the Righteous Brothers hit, “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” and striking poses for the #mannequinchallenge.
Niles officers challenged Rosemont Police. Evanston police challenged Oak Park, but haven’t received a response yet.
“They haven’t responded, but it doesn’t mean they’re not going to respond, Hart said. “Because it could be something fancy coming.”