‘Funky’ police video wins contest

Published 10:32 pm Friday, August 19, 2016

A group of Suffolk police officers got funky to the tune of “Uptown Funk” and danced their way into a first-place finish in a video contest among various members of the department.

The evening shift of Sector I, which serves the downtown area, won after their fun-loving video amassed more than 52,000 views, likes and shares.

But some of the dancers said they weren’t doing it for the win. They were doing it, they said, to get out the message of thanks to the community after an outpouring of support followed shootings of police in several cities across the country in recent months.

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“We were all in there to get our message out,” said Lt. Kevin Harrison. “I think we were shocked at all the views we were getting and the comments and the shares. It was mind-blowing.”

Maj. Stephanie Burch said last week that Lt. John McCarley had the idea to do something special for the community. The idea grew until it became the video contest, and Burch decided to leave the judging to the community the police had gathered to thank.

“It was great,” Harrison said. “It was all about getting it out there so we can say ‘thank you.’”

The video features the officers clowning around in the station and then dancing outside, ending with a group shout of “Thank you!”

“When we set out to do it, we wanted to do something that wasn’t stuffy — doing silly stuff and sweating,” Harrison said. “We just want to give a big thank you to everybody who’s been ultra-supportive. It was all about doing something fun and different from what people might expect from us.”

Sgt. Eric Crawley said he was encouraged by the reaction to all three of the videos created for the contest.

“I think with us doing something totally different than what people are seeing on the news, it really got the message across to the citizens,” Crawley said. “Because of what’s been going on, people don’t really see police officers as regular human beings.

“We appreciate all the support that we’ve been getting,” Crawley added. “We just want to let the citizens know we’re there for them.”