Dartmouth Police Department's tribute to fallen officers goes viral

Jul 19, 2018

A moving tribute might not seem like a traditional lip sync challenge video, but that’s exactly what the Dartmouth Police Department and the town’s community television studio produced to honor fallen officers across the country.

The video, set to Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven was posted to the department’s Facebook page on July 18, and has been viewed over 1 million times. It was all to honor Weymouth’s Sgt. Michael Chesna, who was fatally shot while on duty three days earlier, along with other police officers who have been killed in the line of duty.

Det. Kyle Costa explained that the department was in the process of producing a lip sync video — inspired by a trend of police departments across the country doing the same — but when officers heard about the fatal police shooting in Weymouth, their plans changed. It didn’t feel appropriate to be making a silly video, Costa noted.

“We thought it was the perfect time to make a tribute video,” Costa said. “Not only for those fallen in Massachusetts, but nationally.”

Posted on Facebook on July 18, the video racked up more than 1 million views and 22,000 shares by July 22.

“The response has been overwhelming and humbling,” Costa said.

He explained that the department’s goal was never to get publicity, but rather to honor fallen officers.

“We wanted to show our support to those who have lost loved ones in the line of duty,” he said.

The video was filmed on July 16, just one day after Sgt. Chesna’s death.

Mike Fernandes of Dartmouth Community Television said the officers did a good job with filming, especially because they were still in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.

“You can see the emotion on their faces,” Fernandes said.

“The hardest part for us and, I think, for the DPD, was realizing what we were doing,” said Mike Moniz, also of DCTV. “These men and women are out in the field every day, and it really hit close to home.”

Moniz said when he and his colleagues were putting together the video, they wanted to show the emotional side of these events, and the tragedy of it. He, like Det. Costa, has been overwhelmed by the response to the video and how far it has traveled.

The Dartmouth Police Department has heard from many, including family members of fallen police officers, and the video is continuing to spread, appearing on local news and being shared across the web.