Uniontown police have taken the challenge and, viewers show, their effort was well-received.
LAKE TWP. Uniontown Police are challenging Hartville Police to a lip sync challenge.
Click on Uniontown's Facebook page to see Police Chief Mike Batchik and his officers lip-syncing and dancing to "Islands in the Stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, "We are Family" by Sister Sledge and "Ice, Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice.
The department also posted a friendly taunt to its neighbor to the east: "We would like to Challenge Hartville Police Department to Bring It!!"
Batchik said he and his department accepted the challenge upon the request of several residents and a challenge by a former Lake High School graduate who is currently a sheriff's deputy working in Tennessee.
"It was just a chance to relax and take our minds off some of the stresses the job shows us," he said.
Police departments across the country are taking part in lip-sync challenges.
Middletown's police department received rave reviews for their challenge, which boasted more than 2 million views. Even the country music group Lady Antebellum, whose song "Need You Now" was featured in the challenge, called Middletown's challenge "amazing."
"This started with police departments wanting to show a little more of their human side, to show we have a sense of humor, too," said Hartville Police Chief Larry Dordea. "I would think for the most part it would be well-received."
By noon Wednesday — just two days after it was posted — Uniontown Police Department's Facebook page tallied more than 117,000 views of Uniontown's challenge, which involves Batchik ordering the arrests of two people who took officers' doughnuts.
"You're not going to steal my doughnuts and get away with it," he says before he and Officer Elizabeth Salewsky take handcuffed Dustin Hughes and Kim Berry, both in plainclothes, out the back door of the police station and help them into the back seat of a cruiser. Hughes is a part-time Uniontown Police Officer and Berry is a dispatcher.
The group lip-syncs to songs and at one point Batchik and Salewsky can be seen moving their lips to a country music ballad as they sing to their doughnuts — raised and iced, Batchik's sporting sprinkles.
Officer Brian Sommers joins them as they dance outside the cruiser to "We are Family."
By noon Wednesday, the comments on their challenge totaled 325 with nearly all of the commenters leaving positive remarks. A few joked that they were "offended" by the dancing or saying the officers should be "arrested" for their moves and making light of being arrested.
Readers also called for Uniontown to challenge police departments in Hartville, North Canton, Perry Township, Canton, Louisville, Cuyahoga Falls and Uniontown, Pa.
But will Hartville take the challenge?
"I hope so," Batchik said. "There are a lot of good officers over there. We'll see."
Dordea isn't so sure.
"I don't know that we will respond," he said. "They did a nice job with it."
But he's not ruling it out.
"We have an officer with videography skills," he said.
Reach Lori at 330-580-8309 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @lsteineckREP