After debuting their lip syncing skills on camera last summer, the Boston College and Boston University police departments have a chance to bring their talents to a national stage.

A video featuring members of both departments facing off in a Boston-themed lip sync battle has been selected as a finalist in CBS’s Lip Sync to the Rescue competition. If it receives enough votes, the squads will have a chance to perform live on a one-hour televised special hosted by Cedric the Entertainer later this year.

Voting is now open to the public on

The BC-BU video pokes fun at the storied rivalry between the two institutions, with more than 30 officers from Boston College, Boston University, and the Boston Police Department singing along to fan favorites Shipping Up to Boston, Dirty Water, and Sweet Caroline. Since its release last August, the video has racked up more than 750,000 views and been shared more than 16,000 times.

“When Boston College approached us with the idea, we had no idea it would get to this level,” said BUPD Lt. Patricia Murphy. “Our goal was to show the lighter side of law enforcement and connect with our neighbors at Boston College. We’re thrilled to be included in the CBS competition and hope everyone will show their Boston pride by voting for us.”

The 4-minute video is packed with personalities, from BC Chief William Evans and BU Chief Kelly Nee to Rev. Don MacMillan, S.J. and BC Eagles defensive back Will Harris. Midway through, identical twin brothers BC Officer Michael Cabral and BU Officer Richard Cabral face off in a mini-battle of their own backed by mascots from both schools.  

The lip sync challenge began last summer when Deputy Alexander Mena from the Bexar County, Texas Sheriff’s Office recorded himself lip syncing Fuiste Mala by Kumbia Kings. The sheriff’s office posted his video on its Facebook page where it was viewed more than 1.5 million times. The challenge quickly spread nationwide, with hundreds of departments participating.  

Of those hundreds, only 30 were selected for the final round of the CBS competition. The BC-BU video represents the only entry from Massachusetts, and one of two entries from New England. Only one other video features a campus police department. 

When voting concludes, the top 10 videos will be featured on CBS’s special interactive broadcast, Lip Sync to the Rescue. The program will be filmed in front of an audience of first responders, family, and friends, with live voters ultimately choosing the lip sync champion.

"I cannot begin to explain how exciting this opportunity is,” said BCPD Lt. Jeff Postell, who spearheaded the project. “When I first started putting ideas on paper, being selected by CBS as one of the best videos in the U.S. wasn't even a thought. I was more excited to humanize our officers and profession while having fun doing it. At the end of the day I wanted to represent our communities and showcase our pride for our city.”

Vote for the BC-BU Lip Sync video on For behind-the-scenes footage and a full cast list, visit the Boston College website.

—Alix Hackett | University Communications | April 2019