If you haven't seen a running man challenge video, you might be living under a rock. The craze has taken the Internet by storm, and even the police departments are getting in on the fun!
The WPD Gets in on the Fun
Police Departments worldwide participated in the challenge, challenging other departments to participate. It was a video of the New Zealand Police department that initially caught the attention of Sergeant Nikki Woodrow with the Wichita Police Department. Sgt. Woodrow liked the idea of participating in the challenge, and even bumped the competition up a notch, making the challenge local as well as national and international.
“I thought it would be a lot of fun to get an internal department challenge going in Wichita,” Sgt. Woodrow said.
Sgt. Woodrow organized the challenge between different Wichita departments, which yielded a 5 video response. The departments were given one week's notice to complete their videos. The winners would be determined based on the number of Facebook likes each video received, and sure enough, the videos were a huge hit.
"We were just trying to have a little fun, give back to the community, and make people smile," Sgt. Woodrow said.
All of the videos were well received, but the video by the Wichita Bomb Squad really blew up. (No pun intended.)
The Bomb Squad video won the WPD’s contest, receiving 807 likes total before it was time to determine a winner. It was followed by video in which Wichita Police Officers dance their way out of the back of a police van. This video came in second place with 733 likes.
The Bomb Squad video received over 11 thousand views before voting closed, far more than Sgt. Woodrow had expected.
"It became a craze. It was incredible." Sgt. Woodrow added.
Drawing National Attention
The tremendous local response the video drew was just the beginning of the video’s popularity. Policeone.com ranked the top 15 Police Department running man challenges worldwide, with the Wichita Bomb Squad video at number one.
“Police One is a phenomenal resource for police officers, so it was great to be recognized by them. We would have been happy to rank anywhere in the top 15, but to rank number one was just amazing. I didn't expect it to go national." Sgt. Woodrow said.
According to Sgt. Woodrow, the future holds more dance off challenges for the Wichita Police Department. She plans to host a dance-off video contest each year during National Police week, which is observed during the week of May 15 annually. She added that we can expect to start seeing more of the fun side of the Wichita Police Department, and that this challenge marks the first of many fun things to come.
"Chief Ramsay is incredible, and he is really active on social media, so it's really a new era for us, and we're really having fun. You're going to see more police officers having fun and really being humanized by doing silly things. It's absolutely exciting,” Sgt. Woodrow said. "Our officers are learning that it's okay to be silly and to have fun." Sgt. Woodrow said.