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Fifty-five members of the Virginia State Police Academy took a literal stand against hunger Monday as part of their Thanksgiving food drive.
The Academy, located in North Chesterfield County, has joined hundreds of other people across the country, taking on the most recent video challenge trend circulating on social media, the “mannequin challenge,” according to a state police news release.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the trooper-trainees were already purchasing food to donate to local food banks and churches within the Blackstone and Metro-Richmond communities when they decided to do the challenge Monday, the release said.
In the video, police academy members stand perfectly still, carrying 24-packs of bottled water, stacking canned food and joking around.
In one scene, three trooper-trainees attempt to save several cans and boxes of food, frozen in mid-air, from toppling to the floor.
“Since our jobs as troopers are not only to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth, but also to be community caretakers, we decided to ‘pay it forward’ by helping our communities by providing them with all the trimmings of a full Thanksgiving meal,” said Virginia State Police 125th Basic Session President, Trooper-Trainee T.C. Fairburn. “So with the current trend of mannequin challenges, our class thought producing our own video would be a fun and productive way to get the word out there to truly help others in need.”
With the help of Virginia State Police Superintendent, Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, and Academy staff, the star of the video, the academy’s 125th Basic Session, has issued a “food drive mannequin challenge” to Tennessee Highway Patrol Academy Class #1216 and Michigan State Police 131st and 132nd Trooper Recruit Classes.
The 125th Basic Session began their 29-week academy training in August and will graduate in March next year, the release said.
This is the first video challenge the Virginia State Police has ever done, the release said.