Rock County 911 folks are dancing in the street, again

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Gazette staff
Monday, July 10, 2017

JANESVILLE -- In times of trouble, people must deal with strangers--911 dispatchers, police officers or firefighters. It would be good to know they are human beings, just like you.

That's one of the reasons for another video produced by the Rock County Communications Center--the 911 people.

“It kind of humanizes us,” said Kathy Sukus, director of Rock County communications. “So they see, hey, it's like your neighbor--like your mom or dad--that works at the 911 center, and the police officer is like someone who lives next door.”

The video, released this week, shows police officers, firefighters and dispatchers--along with some of their children--dancing to the Bruno Mars hit “24K Magic.”

Some are better dancers than others, and Sukus said it's good to see they are people with varying levels of talent who can laugh at themselves.

It's much like the center's “Uptown Funk” video, which was released two years ago and has received over 6.7 million YouTube views, Sukus said.

The video also helps the public-safety workers from different agencies get to know each other better, and that's also important, Sukus said.

One of the video's scenes features 8-year-old Jackson Arneson, a kidney transplant recipient. The one who donated the kidney, town of Milton officer Lindsey Bittorf, is seen dancing with him.

“It's something I would rather see in my news feed than all that other stuff. It's nice to see something that will make you smile,” Sukus said.

The “Uptown Funk” video was shot in Beloit. The new one is on Janesville's North Main Street, mostly near the Whiskey Ranch Tavern and its American flag mural.

Joe Jimenez of 4M Productions produced the video. A variety of Rock County public safety responders and communications center personnel volunteered to help.

“The video took minimal time to produce and cost $1,000 to film and edit,” according to the release.

Sukus has commissioned two other videos, one to advertise the 911 center's non-emergency number, 757-2244, and one to discourage 911 hangup calls.

The money comes from Sukus' county-board approved budget, which includes a line for public relations efforts such as the video or billboards, Sukus said.

Mars is one of the artists who allows the use of his songs as long as they're not used to sell products, Sukus said. Mars' record company will monetize the video, so they reap any money from the views, and after enough views, they'll add an advertisement to it, Sukus said.

While the “Uptown Funk” video got a lot of views, the new one had just 316 as of Monday evening.

Bruno Mars' official "24K Magic" video has nearly 760 million views so far.

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