Saturday, June 3, 2023

Holding out for a hero: W&M Police release their lip-sync challenge video

Students will return to William & Mary’s campus next week for the 2018-19 school year, and William & Mary Police channeled their inner Bonnie Tyler to deliver a simple message: The department is holding out for a hero.

The department released its own lip-sync challenge video Wednesday with the hopes of strengthening their ties in the community.

“Once students return, having this video gives our students an opportunity to see a different side of the police,” William & Mary Police Chief Deb Cheesebro said. “We want our William & Mary students to know they can come to us with any concerns or questions so we can help keep everyone safe. Being seen as approachable is imperative in campus policing — it is better to have contact with community members on a daily basis than just when someone is ‘in trouble.’”

Officers strutted through the Sunken Garden, danced on the Wren Building’s balcony, waltzed down the aisles at Swem Library and brought coffee to students deep at study, all while lip-syncing along to Bonnie Tyler’s 1984 hit “Holding Out for a Hero.”

W&M spokeswoman Suzanne Clavet said the video was produced in-house, with University Video filming the 3½-minute lip-sync challenge.

“The officers did their own choreography,” Clavet said. “Any part they were involved in, they decided what they were going to do.”

She added that the video was filmed over the past week. Officers volunteered to pick up shifts to allow their colleagues to film the video on their own time.

Faculty and staff participated as extras in some scenes, and tour groups even joined in the march through the Sunken Garden.

“This was an awesome teamwork experience,” Cheesebro said. “The entire department was involved in one way or another, I’m so proud of them. Our officers were very engaged in this effort and wanted to do a great job for our entire community. We didn’t want to disappoint…All of the smiling and fun was genuine.”

William & Mary Police were challenged by the James City County Police Department, which released their own lip-sync challenge in late July. The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office has also released their own lip-sync video, set to Will Smith’s “Men in Black.”

At the end of the video, Cheesebro challenged the Old Dominion University Police Department to film their own lip-sync video.

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