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READ HIS LIPS: Sheriff Doug Schuster’s lip sync video enjoys viral success

Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster (center), with Chief Deputy Dean McKie and Undersheriff Ed Trafecanty perform a lip-synced rendition of Johnny Horton’s “The Battle of New Orleans” for the law enforcement “Lipsync Challenge” on YouTube. (Photo courtesy Mohave County Sheriff’s Department)

Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster (center), with Chief Deputy Dean McKie and Undersheriff Ed Trafecanty perform a lip-synced rendition of Johnny Horton’s “The Battle of New Orleans” for the law enforcement “Lipsync Challenge” on YouTube. (Photo courtesy Mohave County Sheriff’s Department)

KINGMAN – A challenge among law enforcement agencies throughout the country has bloomed to viral status this summer, and it was only a matter of time before Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster was called out.

The Lipsync Challenge is an unofficial challenge between law enforcement agencies in which one department challenges another law enforcement agency to create a better YouTube video than its own. Schuster received one such challenge this week from a fellow Arizona sheriff’s office.

When Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb presented his lip-synced rendition of Chris LeDoux’s “The Cowboy Hat” on July 12, he challenged Schuster to follow his act. All Schuster needed was a song and a group of deputies willing to play along. But to follow “The Cowboy Hat,” Schuster was going to need something…folksier.

Mohave County Chief Deputy Dean McKie and Undersheriff Ed Trafecanty joined Schuster for his department’s own lipsync video. The sheriff and his deputies posted their rendition of Johnny Horton’s “The Battle of New Orleans,” featuring a song-and-dance number to accompany the 1959 bluegrass classic. The song was posted to YouTube Thursday morning.

The video was filmed at the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office in Kingman. Schuster could not be reached by telephone, but according to Public Information Specialist Anita Mortensen, the video was a hit at the department.

“The other staff members have all been extremely supportive of the video,” Mortensen said, “And they continue to joke around about the dance moves involved. Sheriff Schuster hopes the video promotes our agency as one that can have fun, yet also be serious when needed. He hopes the public can see the video and think we are just a group of regular guys with senses of humor.”

According to Mortensen, feedback from the public has been positive, and the video has been called one of the “best” videos to be submitted to the Lipsync Challenge.

“I can personally say that song has been stuck in my head for days now, and you can still hear the song wafting through the halls of the Sheriff’s Office throughout the day,” Mortensen said.

The Mohave County Sheriff’s Department’s “Lipsync Challenge” video can be viewed on the department’s YouTube channel.