Officers and other members of the department lip-synced to the Enrique Iglesias’ song in both English and Spanish, sashaying through complicated dance moves. Filming locations include a Mexican market in the Monument and Todos Santos Plaza, with civilians of various ages and races joining in the dancing and officers donning cowboy hats atop police SUVs. There are even motorcycle cops grooving as they drive.
The Police Department said the video’s goals were to display the diversity of Concord as well as recruit minority officers. The opening scene notes: “We’re more than just the badges we wear. We’re mothers and fathers. Sons and daughters. Brothers and sisters. And like the community we love to serve, we come from so many backgrounds.”
The video is the latest in a national lip-sync craze, this one created in conjunction with the Monument Crisis Center.
“We’ve had a really good, continually building partnership with the Concord PD,” said Sandra Scherer, executive director of the crisis center. “Building that trust, respect and mutual aid has really been a great boost to the clients that we serve, knowing that they can talk to the police here and can feel comfortable going down to the police station.”
Scherer said the day of filming was “the most sparkling, gorgeous day in Concord,” right before the smoky skies hit the area. “It was just fun to see the officers in a different light – being silly. Everybody enjoyed it; nobody wanted the day to end,” she said.
The video already had more than 72,000 views and 1,800 shares on Facebook less than a week after its Nov. 29 debut. While some were critical of spending $34,000 on the video, most residents enjoyed it – calling the officers “good lookin’ and HOTT.”
According to Chief Guy Swanger, the department used asset forfeiture money to fund filming. “We are limited in how we spend this. We just can’t grab cash and give it to a community-based organization,” he told KRON TV news, one of many Bay Area media outlets covering the video.
“With this national rhetoric toward immigrants, specifically toward Latinos, it is difficult to recruit in our largest community in Concord,” Swanger added. “This was our attempt to reach out to that community.”
Mayor Carlyn Obringer said she wasn’t aware of the video before the premiere at the Brenden Theatre, but she approves of the message.
“I thought it was a really positive reflection of how well our police department works with our community members,” she said. “Our police department works very hard to build those cross-cultural partnerships and relationships and, ultimately, that leads to a safer city.”
Scherer invited clients and others involved with the crisis center to join in the dance scenes. She notes that one grandmother says her grandson now wants to be a police officer.
“I really applaud the PD for stepping forward and doing something like this,” Scherer said. “It’s about building community on a good, trusting basis. Then when things do go wrong, you have that relationship already.”