Are police lip sync videos missing the mark?

It’s hard to go to any type of social media page and not see a police lip sync video. Some of them, posted over and over again, each time the person posting it acts as if they’re posting a life changing video. But are these police departments and officers missing the mark with their lip sync video posts?

Don’t get me wrong  

I can already see some of the responses to this story in the irate and quick judgment comments. I don’t hate the police lip sync videos, I don’t think they are stupid and I don’t think they are a waste of time or money.

Lip sync challenge

(Norfolk Police Department)

Yet I wonder if all these law enforcement agencies and their officers are missing out on an opportunity to make a real and lasting positive change.

First, it was the dancing cop videos that were omnipresent on social media. Now, I can’t go on Facebook and not see yet another Lip Sync Challenge video. These videos do a good job showing everyone that our law enforcement officers are people too and that we represent far more than a gun and badge.

lip sync videos

(Indiana State Police)

The truth is modern American law enforcement consists of much more than arresting people, fighting violent crime and hauling the bad guys off to jail. But, that is one of the many vital roles that law enforcement officers must perform everyday.

The many roles of law enforcement 

American law enforcement officers perform many different roles. All of which are vital to the function of our society.

We are …
  • expected to be social workers and often are the first line of defense and information for people in need.
  • first responders providing emergency life saving first aid until the arrival of EMT – paramedics.
  • lifesavers, providing emergency rescues of people and animals in life or death emergencies.
  • the first line of defense when terrorists strike, we are also the first line of deterrence against terror groups.
  • the only agencies that have to face down and win against violent criminals and their organizations.

Why don’t we celebrate and promote these other valiant roles of law enforcement officers?

Why don’t other videos get promoted? 

When was the last time you saw a video of a law enforcement officer …
  • that delivered a baby?
  • providing emergency life saving first aid?
  • rescuing a person from a burning building?
  • portrayed heroically for staying in and winning a gunfight with an armed and vicious criminal, or criminals?
  • or their family members after they received catastrophic injuries as a result of violent criminals?

These police Lip Synch Challenge videos serve a useful and important purpose in the public relations arena. But, since these videos only show one small aspect of American law enforcement, I can’t help feel that the Lip Sync Challenge and Dancing Cop videos make us look a bit like modern court jesters.

Challenge or dare?

Are the police lip sync videos a true challenge or just a dare?

This is probably my biggest problem with the law enforcement Lip Synch Challenge videos. In my humble opinion they are just a dare. If they were a challenge, they would encourage others to do something, maybe something charitable. If there is nothing on the line, it’s a dare, not a challenge.

The reality is that almost every agency that has created and posted a law enforcement Lip Sync Challenge has lost at least one officer in the line of duty. Also, most of these agencies have had multiple officers that have received catastrophic life changing injuries in the performance of their duties. Many of these injured and disabled officers receive little recognition for their bravery. Many of them and their families suffer tremendously due to their injuries and lack of financial, emotional and physical support.

Every officer in these videos is only one call away from being catastrophically injured and permanently disabled. That one call could mean an end to the financial, physical and emotional stability for their families.

Where can we hear their stories?

You can hear many of their stories on the Law Enforcement Today Radio Show. The show is syndicated in many radio markets across the United States. You can also listen to past episodes of The Law Enforcement Today Radio Show on our website. Plus, we post videos of these heroes almost everyday on our Facebook page and other social media pages, look for our Behind the Uniform video series. So, the next time you see one of our Behind the Uniform series videos, please share it on your social media page.

This is one example:

Let’s make this a true challenge. If every agency that has made a video, or challenges another agency to make a video would also raise funds to help our disabled—injured officers and their families—it would be a challenge and not just a dare.

Why don’t we challenge every participating agency to conduct a collection and send the proceeds to the Wounded Officers Initiative and their Blue Line Support program. You can read about their great organization and their regional and national efforts on their website.

Now let’s get busy raising money with singing and dancing videos. And while we are at it, let’s also promote our heroes with their valiant videos.

#lipsyncchallenge

 

– John “Jay” Wiley, radio show host and producer, Law Enforcement Today