Taupo policeman's dance duel goes viral

WORKING THE BEAT: Constable Ross Humphrey.
WORKING THE BEAT: Constable Ross Humphrey.

For one Taupo police officer, the term "working the beat", has never been more literal.

A video of Taupo constable Ross Humphrey challenging a community member to a dance battle has gone viral in the two weeks since it was posted.

Shared on the Tauhara Paetiki Neighbourhood Policing Facebook page, the video has already been shared more than 1300 times and received more than 200,000 views.

More than 400 comments left by members of the public on the Facebook page have been overwhelmingly positive - something Humphrey describes as "nothing short of amazing".

"Social media at the best of times can be quite cruel - there are people on there whose job is just to hate. And a positive response of that size has just been amazing."

In the video, Humphrey demonstrates some pretty impressive moves, including a caterpillar and robot, but unfortunately is bested by his opponent who can also hold her own on the dance floor.

Humphrey has a background in amateur musical theatre, but he said his moves have always been with him.

"I think everybody's got a secret closet full of 80s dance moves stored up within them. The moment just inspired me."

Although it would seem it is not the first time that has happened.

"There's a few videos of me dancing around like that. They just haven't all been posted."

He said it was an important part of his job to get involved with the community as much as he could.

"A lot of what we do in neighbourhood policing is to find out and identify what issues are happening in the community. We can't expect people to talk to us about those issues if they don't know us and trust us."

But despite the publicity the video has received, Humphrey is yet to land a role on Shortland Street, "much to my disgust", he said. 

Police national manager, prevention, Superintendent Bruce Bird said neighbourhood police teams were getting good results, even if some of their methods were a little unusual.

"Constable Ross Humphrey is part of the Tauhara Paetiki Neighbourhood Policing Team - one of 33 NPT teams around the country. They are proving highly effective at providing an accessible and visible police presence in communities to prevent and reduce crime, re-victimisation and road crashes," he said.

"Getting involved with the community is a key part of their work and I'm delighted to see Ross going the extra mile to do this."

Though Bird's compliments don't come without some sage advice:

"Although winning dance moves are yet to form part of training at the Royal New Zealand Police College, I'd recommend any staff considering such activity use the chinstrap on their hat to prevent uniform mishaps.

"After assessing Constable Humphrey's performance I'm also reassured he's unlikely to be giving up his police career for the professional dance floor anytime soon."