Police and firefighters in Norfolk, Va., got their funk on this week by lip-syncing to Mark Ronson’s hit “Uptown Funk” — which features Bruno Mars — in a Facebook video which has gone viral, garnering more than 27-million views within one day of posting.
The department took part in the video as a response to a challenge from Texas’ Corinth Police Department, which had performed their own lip-sync to Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” about a week ago.
By Tuesday night, it had been viewed more than 26-million times, and as of Wednesday afternoon had surpassed 32-million views.
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The idea for the lip-sync came about a week ago, according to Pickering, after the challenge was sent to them by the Corinth department.
Pickering said from there, they developed choreography and convinced other police officers and members of the fire department to participate.
“It was like, ‘All right, we know what we’ve got to do now,’” Pickering said.
In the video, officer Christopher Tavares of special ops is the star and Pickering said it didn’t take much convincing.
“He said, ‘Let me guess … Bruno Mars,’” Pickering said. “I guess people have told him there’s a resemblance. He was on board.”
Those who organized the lip-sync said they weren’t sure who would show up when the day rolled around, but when the time came, more than 40 officers showed up and two full takes took place.
They filmed the lip-sync at the department’s Third Patrol Division, and utilized fire and police equipment, including trucks, armoured vehicles and motorcycles.
Tavares makes his way through the halls and is joined by officers and firefighters as he goes until they eventually reach the parking lot where dozens of other officers are dancing.
“We wanted to show the community our primary objective is to protect and serve the community, but we’re not robots,” Pickering said.
Norfolk’s video isn’t the only viral video lip-sync that has gone viral. Corinth’s has been seen by more than 11 million, and similar videos have shown up in Iowa, Georgia and California, with the City of Monroe police department in Georgia also giving “Uptown Funk” a go.
The video has also been shared on Facebook more than 843,000 times and received over 112,000 comments, with a majority of them positive, including one that said: “I dare you to try to not smile from ear to ear while watching this.”
The department has now challenged Seattle, Virginia Beach and St. Louis’ police departments as well as the Norfolk Constabulary to take part in the lip-sync battle.