WATCH: Police across the world take up 'Running Man' challenge

WATCH: Police across the world take up Running Man challenge
LAPD officers dance on the field at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles - The police videos posted on the Internet have been steadily getting more elaborate and more popular, with even some police chiefs joining in.

By Web Report/AP

Published: Fri 27 May 2016, 11:42 AM

Last updated: Fri 27 May 2016, 3:17 PM

In an online sensation, police officers across the US are dancing an updated version of the running man to a catchy 1990s hip hop song in videos that have included professional sports mascots, cheerleading squads and at least one explosion.
The videos, set to "My Boo" by Ghost Town DJ's, began in early May after police in New Zealand issued the Running Man Challenge to the New York Police Department. The meme started with two teenagers in New Jersey and became viral after college basketball teams picked it up.

The police videos posted on the Internet have been steadily getting more elaborate and more popular, with even some police chiefs joining in.
Los Angeles
Los Angeles officers filmed themselves dancing inside the Dodgers baseball stadium and at a popular hiking spot in the shadow of the Hollywood sign. Detroit officers did their dance after spilling out of a heavy-duty SWAT truck in front of a General Motors building, and Miami's men and women in blue threw in some salsa moves to Gloria Estefan's "Conga."

The videos are about more than officers cutting loose. They come as police departments across the US are facing increased scrutiny and public criticism in the wake of a series of officer-involved deaths of young, unarmed black people.
Many departments have been working to become more community-friendly and improve their image. That includes turning to the power of social media.
WATCH: Detroit police challenge Cincy, Philly, Chicago to Running Man Challenge  
In his department's video, one of the most popular with seven million views since Tuesday, Detroit police Chief James busted moves underneath the city's iconic Joe Louis fist. In a move parodying a mic drop, Craig then dropped a police belt and challenged Chicago, Philadelphia and Cincinnati, Ohio. He has also challenged New York and Los Angeles, indicating their videos aren't good enough.

"Across this nation, there's a lot of anti-police rhetoric. Do you believe this might have a profound impact on reducing that? I mean, you talk about how many shares so far? People like it, they appreciate it, and this is a move in the right direction."  - Detroit police Chief James Craig
 Police departments are smart to take on the challenge, said Robert Thompson, a Syracuse University professor and a leading authority on American pop culture.
"This is a rhetorical act of public relations. No question about it. Having the police force, uniformed police especially, smiling and dancing with people within the context of these communities, is certainly a positive message. It's what a Coca Cola ad does, what a propaganda film does, what a public relations campaign does - try to make us think differently about something." - Robert Thompson
NYPD Running Man Challenge
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) accepted the challenge and created their own video on a soggy pier in front of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Eagan police officers do the 'running man challenge'
Eagan police officers tweeted out a hilarious video of them doing the "Running Man Challenge."Eagan police officers tweeted out a hilarious video of them doing the "Running Man Challenge."
Eagan police officers are calling on the Shakopee Police Department to complete the challenge next.
London police post quick-footed response
A video showing Metropolitan police officers busting some serious moves in a dance off challenge- has quickly gone viral.

Police Scotland have shown off their dancing skills as part of a viral challenge that has spread across police forces around the world. In the Scot's clip, five officers are seen doing the well-known running man dance move. 

The craze has reached international proportions, with officers from Australia, the US and Scotland rising to the challenge by showing off their moves.

"The Running Man" challenge first started getting wide attention when NBA rookie Justise Winslow posted two videos two weeks ago. Previously, the physical comedy meme had spread like wildfire among college athletes on social media. 
The videos have drawn criticism from some who question the use of police resources. Mostly, the response has been positive.

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