The Dakota County Sheriff's Office was eliminated over the weekend from the USA Today Law Enforcement Lip Sync Challenge and ultimately finished third in the national contest.
The video, which was filmed in 2016, lost out to Flower Mound, Texas, police department for a spot in the finals. Flower Mound is up against Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., police department in the finals.
USA Today's website shows Dakota County's video received a total of 34,400 votes throughout the contest, which nearly doubled fourth-place finisher Seattle Police Department's total of 18,020.
According to Dakota County Sheriff Capt. Dawanna Witt, the sheriff's office found out they were entered in the challenge after someone called Sheriff Tim Leslie to wish him luck.
"We got into the game a little late," Witt said.
The video was the result of a challenge from Apple Valley Police Department as part of the Running Man Challenge in 2016, but with a bit of a twist.
"Instead of doing the Running Man Challenge, they challenged us to a lip sync," Witt said. Ultimately, they tried to incorporate a bit of both.
Planning took the longest for the video, Witt said, which was produced largely with volunteered time. Hastings Community TV volunteered time and staff to shoot the video.
Witt said she wanted to highlight all aspects of the sheriff's office.
"Just looking at the people that we have here, the men and women, and all these extra things that they do outside of work that they have, you know, their recreational activities — I wanted to showcase that," she said. "We think that sometimes people's ideas of, hey police, deputies, they're people, too. Look at all those talents that they have that people wouldn't usually affiliate with being a law enforcement person."
Overall, Witt said the response has been great.
"We're not always the people that are just sitting out there issuing tickets and looking for different things that people are doing wrong, but we are people that like to have fun, we like to be normal people as well. We don't always have to be writing tickets and pulling over cars, we're more than that," she said. "To take people out of what they do every day and let them enjoy the things about what they do was overwhelmingly good."
As far as any future plans for videos, the door is open.
"I just hope someone asks for another challenge, that's what I'm hoping for," Witt said. "If there's some other kind of challenge, whether it's lip sync or dancing, we're in."