Law enforcement agencies across the Bay Area have participated in the lip sync challenge and apparently, the videos cost a pretty penny.
The Concord Police Department spent $35,000 dollars for their video and the funds didn’t come from taxpayers.
KRON’s Ella Sogomonian met with the police chief who stands by the decision.
Concord police say they filmed the lip sync challenge using the tune “Bailando,” after they were invited to do so by Monument Crisis Center, which is a local non-profit.
The department paid $34,000 to a private advertising company out of San Francisco to film the elaborate production and officers’ overtime was funded by asset forfeiture money.
“In other words drug dealers monies that we seized, so it wasn’t public money that was used,” Chief Guy Swanger said. “It was money that goes for a specific purpose. We are limited on how we spend it. We can’t just grab cash and give it to a community-based organization.”
Swanger said the department has to spend the money on a police program, so they chose the video as a campaign to include their prevalent Latino community and show them not to fear police given the current political climate.
He also considers the video a valuable recruitment tactic.
“The difficulties with this national rhetoric towards immigrants, specifically Latinos, it’s difficult to recruit in our largest community here in Concord,” Swanger said. “This was our attempt to reach into that community to show they want to be part of our team that we are just as diverse as you are.”
A Mexican immigrant, who calls Concord home, told Ella that he’s been disappointed when calling on the police for help and would have liked to see the money spent another way.
“I think it would have been better to have them use it in a different type of cultural event to unite the community more and give them more confidence in the force,” Hector Frias Torres said.
Another resident, Jim Maddox, believes the video served its purpose.
“Usually when we see them they are patrolling, they’re pulling somebody over,” he said. “They’re doing their job but it’s good to see the human side of police officers.”
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