Messages were coming in — about one every four hours — to Derreck Booth, spokesman for the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.
They were messages from the community “begging” the sheriff’s office to take part in a trend that’s been sweeping the nation’s law enforcement: a lip syncing challenge.
After a challenge from Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson, Booth gave in and sent an email asking if anyone was interested.
“As (a public information officer), it’s something I could have dreamed up and put together,” Booth said. “I figured it would be better to let the folks in the department come up with their own ideas and do their own thing because they’re far funnier and more creative than I am.”
So that’s what he did. Booth sent out an email to the division captains with the sheriff’s office, and the court services division took over from there, choosing the song, “My House,” by rapper Flo Rida and asking Danny’s Donuts to join in on the fun.
“We wanted to pick a song that hadn’t been done yet, which was quite a task,” Deputy Kelly Bullock said. “And we wanted to make it relevant to what we do here in the court services division, and that's where we came up with the song.”
The video starts with a doughnut robbery at the popular shop in Gainesville. The thief, Sgt. Gary Moore, takes his box of doughnuts and runs across the midtown pedestrian bridge, striking Heisman-like poses as he makes his way toward the Hall County Courthouse.
“We wanted to make it our own and we wanted to be funny,” Bullock said. “And that’s where the doughnut heist came into play. We just wanted to have fun with it.”
The thief is promptly taken into custody, questioned, sent to court and the dancing ensues. Numerous deputies and employees are shown dancing and singing along to the song while the story continues inside the courthouse.
Bullock said it took about three weeks for the video come together. Stephen Dean with Dean Film Works LLC volunteered his time to record and edit the video, which has flashes of color throughout, reminiscent of the late 1980s or early 1990s.
“He really walked us through a lot of the acting, so to speak,” Bullock said. “But a lot of it was we just got in front of the camera and tried our best to try to have fun with it.”
The videos being made by agencies across the country aren’t just for fun, though. Bullock said it was more about community engagement. She said they “really just wanted to reach out to the community and show that we can be fun people behind the badge.”
Booth echoed the same feelings.
“Men and women of law enforcement, and particularly our agency, are human beings, are ordinary people,” Booth said. “They laugh just like everybody else, they have humor just like everybody else. I think the goal is to really humanize law enforcement and to show that they’re people, just like your next door neighbor, and I think these videos are a neat way that that’s happening across the country.”