Seattle police join lip-sync challenge to Macklemore hit

Creating humorous content for social media is nothing new for the police force here in New Zealand, but it took a bit of convincing for the front line of Seattle's police force to jump on the bandwagon - or should that be hip-hop wagon?

Responding to a challenge from Virginia police, Seattle's law enforcers called on the city's celebrities for their video.

To the hit song 'Downtown', by Seattle's own Macklemore, the officers took to the beat - hitting the streets around some of Seattle's most famous landmarks, including the iconic Space Needle. 

Critics of the video have said the time and money should have been spent on improving the level of service provided by the city's police department, but those in favour say the value of community engagement and face-to-face time is priceless.

The New York Times reports the videos "come as police departments increasingly use social media to step up their public relations efforts and try to repair their image after years of anger and protests over police brutality and fatal shootings of black people by officers".