San Marcos Hays County EMS Medic 23 partners Suh Hughart and Robyn San Pedro, pictured with Tiny the T-Rex and Tiny Jr., lip sync “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” in a video for the law enforcement lip sync challenge. Facebook photo
Challenge spreads to Hays County
If you spend a lot of time on Facebook, you might have noticed the recent proliferation of videos of emergency personnel turning in some heartfelt lip syncing performances. The “law enforcement lip sync challenge” has gone viral, and local law enforcement and first responders are not immune.
It started in San Antonio. Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Recruiting Deputy Alexander Mena showed off his lip syncing skills in a series of videos, one of which has been viewed 1.4 million times. Then the San Antonio Police Department issued a challenge to the sheriff’s department in the form of a video of San Antonio Central Patrol Officer J. Quiroz lip syncing to an NSYNC song.
After that, other departments started challenging each other to post in-car lip sync videos. In San Marcos and Hays County, several first responders have made videos that have been viewed thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of times. Hays County Correctional Officer Omar Romero lip syncs “Como Le Hare” by Emilio in his video. Cody Cheatham from the Hays County Constable Precinct 3 office posted an emotional performance of “Twisted” by Keith Sweat. San Marcos Hays County EMS Medic 22 partners Kiersten Robinson and Kyle Skinner perform an expressive duet of “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey.
Some of the lip sync videos have veered into the whimsical. Fort Worth Police Department Public Information Officer Bradley Perez’s video for Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” is more than just a lip sync; Perez re-creates the original video, dressing up as several characters. The video has garnered more than 1 million views.
Hays County Sheriff’s Deputy Ashley Martinez summons the spirit of Selena in her lip sync video for “Si Una Vez” and “Baila Esta Cumbia.” Martinez’s video has garnered 1 million views. Facebook photo
Closer to home, first responders have used props and costuming for some of their lip sync videos. San Marcos Police Officer Kathy Gibson goes old-school in her video, putting a cassette tape into a jam box before lip syncing to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” Two plastic T Rex dinosaurs appear in San Marcos Hays County EMS Medic 23’s duet of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” as medics Suh Hughart and Robyn San Pedro lip sync about how no mountain, valley or river will keep them from getting to you — a reassuring message coming from emergency professionals in an ambulance.
“They’re sort of our travel companions,” Hughart said of the dinosaurs, who are named Tiny and Tiny Jr. and who have their own Facebook page under the name “Tiny the T-Rex.” They serve as reminders to take time to enjoy life, she said.
Hughart said her partner came up with the idea for several videos — the pair did music videos for Mothers Day and Fathers Day a couple of years ago — and for San Pedro, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” presented itself as an opportunity.
“It worked out for us to do it as a duet,” Hughart said.
In her lip sync video for Selena’s “Si Una Vez” and “Baila Esta Cumbia,” Hays County Sheriff’s Deputy Ashley M. Martinez puts on gold hoop earrings and sports a classic hair curl on her forehead. Martinez’s video has been viewed 1 million times.
“I grew up lip synching Selena’s music since elementary school, so I already knew how to do an impression of her. In fact my homemade Halloween costume has been Selena the last two years in a row,” Martinez said, noting that she used props from her costume in her video. “Funny thing is I do not speak Spanish, but I was in love with her music and she taught me the little bit of Spanish that I know today.”
Martinez said that she has seen people commenting on lip sync videos that officers “should be doing our jobs instead or quit wasting tax dollars.” However, she said, officers have not been making these videos while on duty.
“I personally was in my driveway on my day off when I recorded and uploaded the video,” she said. “My agency has strict policies and I would have been in trouble doing anything like this while on duty.”
Martinez said she has received a lot of positive feedback from the community, including from victims in cases that she’s worked. She also said she thinks the lip sync challenge is a good way to show that law enforcement officers are “human just like everyone else.”
“I along with my brothers and sisters in blue, help the community in many ways. We help anyone, anytime for any reason,” she said. “I want younger and older adults to see these videos and have a new fresh understanding — that is, that we are friendly, fun and we want to earn your trust. We want to do anything in our power for you when you need us. We want to build good relationships and bring a positive light to the people here in Hays County.”