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Challenge Accepted: Sheriff Staly Takes Up Lip-Sync Challenge With Jailhouse Rock Video

| July 13, 2018

jailhouse rock flagler sheriff

Jailhouse Rock, Flagler Sheriff edition.

It appears to have been started by a police department in Corinth, Texas, a town outside Dallas about the size of a few Palm Coast sections. The department’s cops lip-synced to Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA,” put the results on Facebook, and challenged other departments to do the same.

The challenge was quickly accepted, but it wasn’t until the Norfolk Police Department produced its version–a nearly five-minute video of police officers lip-syncing, dancing and playing “instruments” like orange traffic cones to the sound of Bruno Mars’s “Uptown Funk”— that the resulting video went nuts, drawing (so far) 47 million views and 1.1 million shares. The department alleges–and we have to really stress it’s only an allegation–that it pulled off the video in one take.

The Grapevine Police Department’s “What A Feeling” performance has since gotten over 4 million views, the Southlake Police Department’s “Hello ” (Adele’s hit) is at 1.4 million and climbing, Dallas police’s “Boyfriend” just crossed the 1 million mark, and so on. It was a matter of time before the challenge reached Flagler.

It has.

You’ll need to sit down for this–and check with your dental plan that damage from cringing is covered, but so it goes when a social media trend becomes a stampede: “FCSO has ACCEPTED the LEO Lip Sync Challenge and we are calling out all of our LEO brothers and sisters to participate as well,” the agency’s Facebook post read when it went up this afternoon, garnering 10,000 views in less than an hour. “Please LIKE and SHARE our video, let’s show the world how much FCSO ROCKS!”

“The agency’s been going through a lot and this gave them a little fun,” Sheriff Rick Staly said late this afternoon.

The video starts modestly enough.

“Everyone is challenging us. We have to do it,” Brittany Kershaw, the agency’s public information manager, tells Staly. Staly is working at a desk suspiciously like his desk at the Operations Center in an office suspiciously like his office at the Operations Center. (We were under the assumption they’d all evacuated to the county courthouse.)

The Sheriff confesses: “Brittany,” he tells Kershaw, “I have no rhythm, I can’t sing, I can’t play an instrument.” He swivels toward an electric guitar propped up on a cabinet behind him: “This thin blue line guitar? It’s just a showpiece. There’s no way I can do this.”

Kershaw looks crushed. She walks out looking like she just doesn’t want to work there anymore.

The sheriff goes back to examining documents–the building’s air quality analysis report maybe?–but before long pauses and looks at the guitar again. “It is a nice guitar,” he says. Kershaw’s suggestion has him intrigued. He figures he might have a look at the department’s museum to get ideas.

No Adele, no Drake, no rap for this sheriff though: when he sees himself in a frame next to the “Green Roof Inn” sign (his last chart-topping video hit), it hits him: “Isn’t there an old Elvis song about a jail,” he says to the picture on the wall. “I’ll have to ask Brittany” (assuming she hadn’t quit), though to Kershaw’s generation Elvis is closer to classical music than to whatever’s playing through most woofers these days when cops pull drivers over.

The sheriff was born on the last day in 1955. RCA issued Elvis’s “Jailhouse Rock” two years later, part of a movie-single combo. (Our public record request for Staly’s movie stubs from that era is hung up in litigation.) Segue to the sheriff’s Elvis-era patrol car driving into the county jail’s parking lot to the sounds of Elvis, in black and white of course, then cut to that unlikely quartet lip-syncing the first strains (Chief Mark Strobridge, Cpl. Peter Descartes–the only one in the bunch who has any rhythm to speak of–Debra Meeker and Shannon Martin): it isn’t just the prison band that begins to wail as the shot pans to the sheriff in his stetson hat, playing guitar and dancing with the rest of the crew to the rhythm of crash boom bang and the glint of razor wire.

The video quickly goes from misdemeanor to felony to capital crime, almost enough to make Elvis sit up and take notice from his Graceland haunt. But there was little question it’d be a hit: in the time it took to write this story, the video had collected a few more thousand views, ripening rumors that perhaps Staly should seek out an agent.

Give them credit: Deputies Collin Haggerty and Mel Chiorre play inmates in 50s-style striped garb, “singers” and “dancers” include Sgt. Greg Tietje and deputies Laura Jenkins, Brian Sheridan and Dedorious Varnes. The full video is here or, if you don’t have Facebook, see below.

15 Responses for “Challenge Accepted: Sheriff Staly Takes Up Lip-Sync Challenge With Jailhouse Rock Video”

  1. Anonymous says:

    That’s awesome!!

  2. Laurie says:

    So glad you took on the challenge, I enjoyed your video, but y’all better keep your day jobs. ☺

  3. Just The Truth says:

    Thank you Sheriff Staly for joining, when I saw it on the news I was hoping FCSO got on board…I hope it goes all over the country and a video is made of everyone that joined. It will go to Hollywood and get an Oscar…at least, I am rooting for all of those that protect us each and every day….Thanks to you all….

  4. MRC says:

    Hilarious! Gotta admit Sheriff Staly has a sense of humor! The “inmates” need to work a bit on their dance skills though. Lol

  5. Shark says:

    Why doesn’t just do his job and keep his mouth shut. His Barney Fife Department is out of control !!!

  6. tulip says:

    The group from Norfolk are awesome and have got millions of votes already. They played some of the entries on tv last night and a lot of them are excellent and I don’t think Staly will win this one, it was way to bland.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wearing County uniforms, county building. County employees on county time….shame on you for misusing tax payers money and you ask for a budget increase in the millions. If you worked as hard as you played hot doggin it all the time maybe some real criminals would get caught. We are not content with the arrests filling no the dockets with petty bs. Cut off some snakes heads!

  8. Anonymous says:

    That was great

  9. Brian says:

    I knew yesterday, before there were any comments on this, that the “bah-humbug”, Mr. Negative Anonymous would come out critical – as usual.

  10. Dave says:

    Idk, I dont like it, I mean positivity is good but this group of employees has really put the residents threw alot of negative things latley and maybe more professionalism and less shannanigins from them.

  11. Just The Truth says:

    Love it, great job Sheriff Staly and your side kicks.

  12. Concerned Citizen says:

    All of these “challenges” going on with Public Safety Agencies are getting ridiculous.

    It’s unprofessional and a waste of time. Who is answering calls and doing daily tasking as you’re dancing around making videos.

    Need to focus more on your department issues and correcting behavior problems with your staff. Stop playing on our time.

  13. gmath55 says:

    The big guy Cpl. Peter Descartes is the only one that looked like he was lip singing (or singing) and you could tell Staly wasn’t even trying to make it look like he was playing the guitar.

  14. FlaglerMom says:

    Filming a video in a “sick” building? If it’s so harmful, why enter it?

  15. gmath55 says:

    This is the best lip-sync police video I have seen so far.
    Staly take note how they play the guitar.

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