Evansville Police Department’s PSA to help educate the community on how they can stop the spread of COVID-19. Evansville Courier & Press
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The Evansville Police Department has a message for that person who keeps getting all up in your business in the grocery store checkout line.
The message has a beat and you can dance to it.
A public service video by officers performing The Police classic song “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” went viral Friday, being shared thousands of times on social media.EPD posted the video highlighting the importance of social distancing after one of their own, a detective, was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week.
“This was Chief (Billy) Bolin’s brainchild. He was wondering if there was something we could do to get the awareness out in a fun way but also be serious in the middle of those talks,” EPD Special Projects Coordinator Philip Smith said.
“One of our detectives came down with a positive test of the COVID-19, and he was a longtime friend of Chief Bolin. It hit home for us. This is real; it made it even more real for EPD and made it that much more important for us to do this.”
The video starts with Smith and two other officers singing and dancing to the song on the stage of Evansville’s Victory Theatre with rows of empty seats in the background. The officers are wearing masks and standing six feet apart.
Then Cheif Bolin gives a heartfelt message imploring people to practice social distancing to keep their families, friends and co-workers safe.
“We all miss going to our favorite restaurants, sporting events and concerts,” Bolin said in the video. “And the sooner we all start doing our part by staying a part we can start filling these seats up behind us again. If you care about your family, friends and coworkers, don’t stand so close to them.”
“The Victory has a lot of historical meaning; it’s a place where people gather for entertainment. It’s a place for families to be together, and right now we can’t do those things. And if we want to do those things sooner rather than later, we have to listen to the guidelines,” Smith said.
“If we can sacrifice not being so close for a little while so that in the future we can get back together, that’s what’s important.”
The video was mentioned during Gov. Eric Holcomb’s daily briefing Friday.
Mayor Lloyd Winnecke was happy with the video, saying its message is one that everyone needs to pay attention to.
Winnecke said a lot of calls have been coming into the mayor’s office complaining about people who are non-compliant with the stay-at-home order and social distancing. He said as a community we need everyone to take a lot of self-responsibility and practice social distancing for the greater good.
“This is all very serious, and we need to look for some levity in these difficult times, and I think this a way to do that,” he said. “I hope people look at it and say, ‘You know what, they’re taking something very serious and having fun with it.’ But it’s sharing an important message. And that message is, ‘Social distancing may save a life;’ it may save their life.”
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