The Conway Police Department, this week, joined other law enforcement agencies across the south in a lip sync battle that is quickly spreading nationwide.
The challenge appears to have begun in central Texas last month between several departments there, jumping from one to another and eventually out of state.
Officers Danny Worley and Ivan Cortes took one for the team in the CPD’s video, which has received more than 217,000 views on Facebook as of Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Worley said he had seen the challenge floating around but didn’t think much of it, regarding it only as another fad, and the department had done other stuff like it, so, he moved on.
That is, until his wife, a detective at CPD, said they really needed to consider doing it. He said she had her heart set on it and started putting the plan into action, getting approval and sending out a department email asking who wanted to be involved.
While the response with ideas and advice was large, Worley said not as many were eager to get in front of the camera.
Worley’s rookie is Ivan Cortez. He said he would come home and tell his wife all about his relationship Cortez, describing their personalities and how they meshed and his wife said the duo should be in the video and he agreed.
In between calls, and funny outbursts, the pair was finally able to get it done.
The humorous video starts Worley lip syncing to, “Bad to the Bone,” by George Thorogood and Cortez interjecting with, “Love Is an Open Door,” from the Disney movie, “Frozen,” and ending with Worley getting out of the car and dancing to Whitney Houston’s, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”
Worley said the feedback has been awesome and the public loves it. He said he didn’t think people would recognize him but he’s been going on calls and when they see him, an instant smile spreads to their faces.
“Based on that reaction, I think it gave a very, overall, positive interaction with the public, which is exactly what we wanted,” Worley said.
That type of interaction, he said, is important to him, personally, for two reasons.
“No. 1 is there’s only so many of us in this job on duty at one time and it’s very hard for us to get the job done without the public’s help,” Worley said. “Without having that public trust or that relationship with them, it would be less likely for them to contact us and solve what we need to.”
He said the other reason is because social media is what people are most interacting on these days and going to for information.
“I never knew that when I got into this job I’d want to be as community-oriented as I was,” Worley said.
With a shift in regime, Chief Jody Spradlin taking over, a push for that kind of policing was made; getting out there, being seen and making relationships with community members.
“Let them know, ‘Hey, yes, we do wear the uniform, we wear the badge and the gun and there’s times where we have to take care of action when duty calls but at the same time we are people we have emotions, you know, we have feelings, we think just like you do,’” he said. “Sometimes we just have to think split second and under pressure and so by building this interaction and, you know, relationship with the public, it kind of helps them understand our job and why we do what we do.”
While there has been mostly positive feedback, with anything comes a few “keyboard warriors,” Worley called them.
“You’re going to get negative feedback,” he said. “You can’t make everyone happy about everything and that’s kind of the world we live in now-a-days.”
Worley said some comments they take with a grain of salt and others, because they hold themselves to a professional standard no matter what, need to be looked at a little more closely.
Regardless, as many times as he goes out on a call and runs into people who are having a bad day … that one time a week that he feels he’s made a difference in somebody’s life makes it all worth it.
To date, being someone who’s out there, building on those relationships, he said, has made a big impact in his life.
“There’s time in this job it takes a lot of stress on me and you come home and you’re disgruntled because of this happening, you had to see someone pass away in front of you, whatever the case be, so, being able to have that positive reinforcement at work kind of takes that and helps you cope with it better and makes you feel better overall in the job and when you have that you’re going to have better job performance, you’re going to be happier, you’re going to treat the public better, you know, and everything else overall,” Worley said.
While they did challenge other Faulkner County agencies, he said, they hope others decide to get involved.
“Let’s all do it and have fun with it,” Worley said. “The community asked for something and we wanted to give them something that was raw, true, honest, just us having fun, being police.”