AURORA — On a typical day, Officer Chris Weaver is out on the streets, checking in on the homes and businesses in his district, while getting to know the people he protects day-in and day-out.
"I usually hit the main roads first around the district.. then I’ll hit the residentials," Weaver said. "I talk to some people, see how they’re doing, see how they’re feeling."
Aurora born and raised, Officer Weaver has spent 16 years on the force, working investigations, on patrol and visiting schools. But these days he may be better known to many Aurora residents for his popular social media videos, which merge lip syncing and vital information in unique ways.
"It all started when we had the polar vortex. I got an email from my lieutenant who said, 'hey can you put something out to the people let them know where the warming centers are?'"
Since he's also a member of the department's public information team, Weaver had access to the department's Facebook page. He grabbed a quick video with his cell phone, and posted it to Facebook. After the video got thousands of views, they decided to keep making more.
As Weaver continued to post updates to the page over the following months, things got more creative. Now they're often as entertaining as they are informative, thanks to his enthusiastic lip syncing to pop hits and classic jams.
It's a unique way to connect to his community and pass along much needed information, whether it's tips on safety seats or services for the homeless. He even shed some light on how evidence is collected. Some of his posts have been viewed over 40,000 times, and Weaver said he gets messages from people around the country.
"It’s not about the views, it’s not about going viral, it’s about what can we do as a community to make it a safer place. And the city of Aurora is really taking hold of that," Weaver said.
Sometimes, it’s a simple message that can have the most impact. Like on Valentine's Day, where he acknowledged those who may not have felt loved on that day.
"Folks, there are people out there that may have been crumpled up, may have had a bad relationship, may have had a rough childhood, and folks, each and every one of them has worth," Weaver said in the video.
Sure, he’s taken a bit of ribbing from his colleagues for the dancing, and there have been a few eye rolls from his teenage boys. But he says a little bit of fun can actually support the department's life-saving work.
That work can happen at any time. Weaver was also among the Aurora officers recently awarded the Medal of Valor for their response to the Henry Pratt mass shooting.
"The community is why we do what we do... It’s a very nice gesture and I’m very proud to have received the Medal of Valor, but I would do everything I did that day, I’d do it again tomorrow. It’s what we signed up for," Weaver said.