The Sher­iff’s Of­fice an­swered a law en­force­ment lip sync chal­lenge with its ver­sion of a B-52’s hit song — get­ting help from a spe­cial guest star

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Pa­tri­cia R. Doxsey [email protected]­manon­

They may have been a lit­tle late to the party, but em­ploy­ees of the Ul­ster County Sher­iff’s Of­fice fi­nally found a lit­tle old place where they could get to­gether and join in the fun of the law en­force­ment lip sync chal­lenge that swept the coun­try late last year.

On Thanks­giv­ing, the Sher­iff’s Of­fice re­leased their ver­sion of the B-52’s 1989 hit “Love Shack.”

The video fea­tures a num­ber of em­ploy­ees of the Sher­iff’s Of­fice — both civil­ian and uni­formed — as well as some of their fam­ily mem­bers, and a cameo ap­pear­ance by Kate Pier­son, one of the singers and found­ing mem­bers of the 1980s new wave band the B-52’s.

The idea to make the video came when Lt. Abram Markiewicz’s brother in Hous­ton sent him a link to one of the videos that had be­gun pop­ping up on the in­ter­net.

“I thought that it was pretty good, and we should try to do some­thing like that here,” said Markiewicz.

After get­ting per­mis­sion from for­mer Ul­ster County Sher­iff Paul VanBlar­cum, Markiewicz reached out to the Woodstock Day School, which, he said, has “a full-fledged me­dia pro­gram,” for help mak­ing the video.

“They were over the charts ex­cited to do it,” he said.

It then came down to de­cid­ing what song to per­form.

The Ap­ple Val­ley Po­lice Depart­ment, in Min­nesota, per­formed “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by the To­kens for its chal­lenge. In Las Cruces, New

Mex­ico, a group of po­lice of­fi­cers per­formed “Should’ve Been A Cow­boy,” by Toby Keith.

Songs by Justin Tim­ber­lake were pop­u­lar with a num­ber of other po­lice de­part­ments, as were songs by Tay­lor Swift and even Mi­ley Cyrus.

Markiewicz spent sev­eral

weeks watch­ing videos cre­ated by other de­part­ments and mulling over dif­fer­ent songs.

“I lit­er­ally had a list on my night­stand and would wake up at 3 o’clock in the morn­ing with a song in my head and write it down,” he laughed.

“There were a lot of sub­mis­sions across the coun­try, a lot of dif­fer­ent songs,” he said. “We didn’t want to be the fifth group to do what­ever cer­tain song and we

wanted to have a light fun song.”

Then, he re­mem­bered that Pier­son lived nearby and that one of the of­fi­cers in the depart­ment knew her.

“I thought, ‘If we can get Kate Pier­son, it’s got to be “Love Shack.’”

He said get­ting Pier­son turned out to be easy, “my un­der­stand­ing was she was on board with it right from the be­gin­ning,” and the lip sync was closer to be­com­ing re­al­ity.

Over the course of sev­eral months, Sher­iff’s Of­fice em­ploy­ees would “get to­gether” for a few hours at a time to record the video. The agency’s In­ci­dent Com­mand ve­hi­cle may not be a car, but it’s cer­tainly “as big as a whale,” and while a hold­ing cell in the Sher­iff’s Of­fice might seem an un­likely place for a “love shack,” it was a per­fect “lit­tle place” for the video.

Once film­ing was com­pleted, Woodstock Day

School stu­dents did the edit­ing and fin­ish­ing touches, and in Novem­ber the video was re­leased.

“It was a lot of fun,” Markiewicz. “We were very con­scious about not tak­ing away from the pub­lic’s safety or at­ten­tion do­ing it, and the whole thing was done with vol­un­teers. We weren’t us­ing tax­payer time to do it or tax­payer money to do it.’

Markiewicz said that in an agency in which its em­ploy­ees are spread out over

the hun­dreds of square miles of Ul­ster County, it was good to be able to get to­gether and have some fun with co-work­ers they may not see of­ten.

Be­yond that, he said, it was an op­por­tu­nity to show the com­mu­nity the “fun” side of the Ul­ster County Sher­iff’s Of­fice.

“We’re not all busi­ness all the time,” he said. “We’re reg­u­lar peo­ple and we’re not above pok­ing fun at our­selves.”


Mem­bers of the Ul­ster County Sher­iff’s Of­fice set sail in a scene from their lip sync video chal­lenge.

Mem­bers of the Ul­ster County Sher­iff’s Of­fice in a scene from the lip sync chal­lenge video.

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