Police in Michigan embrace nickname 'Po Po' to be more relatable to 'younger folk'

Tanya Edwards
Photo: Facebook/Bath Township Police Department

The Bath Township Police Department in Michigan played a prank on Facebook, and it’s gone viral.

A photo posted on the page of a police cruiser Saturday showed the k-9 Unit’s side painted with the words “Po Po.” The police department wrote that the change in the patrol car graphics was an attempt to be more relatable to the young people in its jurisdiction. They also added the hashtags “#HowDoYouDoFellowKids” and “#HopingForMoreWavingWithAllFiveFingers,” presumably to make it obvious that they were joking around.


The prank started with officer Michael Lapham, according to the Lansing State Journal, who decided to have some fun with Microsoft Paint and a photo of a township police cruiser’s unpainted doors.

He added the term “Po Po,” slang for “police, to a photo of the sports utility vehicle and posted it on the department’s social media page.

Some locals didn’t get the gag and let the department know they didn’t like the vehicle’s “new” look.

Others got a chuckle out of the pretend paint job.

The “#HowDoYouDoFellowKids” hashtag is a reference to an episode of 30 Rock that featured actor Steve Buscemi playing the least-cool teenager on the planet, which has been turned into memes and GIFs that are used to show how out of touch someone is.

Photo: NBC Universal

And, if you’re not up on vernacular, according to PoliceMag.com, the name “Po Po” originated from Southern California gangs and went nationwide. The term was allegedly derived from beach bike officers’ shirts, which read PO, for “police officer.”

The Bath Township Police Department is not the first to have a little fun on social media. In 2015, the Washington Post wrote about the Bangor, Maine, police department having fun on its Facebook page. The page became must-read material for legions of fans who checked in for comedic musings on the officers’ experience catching shoplifters at Kohl’s. And, the Lawrence, Kan., PD likes to mix it up on Twitter.

The Bath Township PD has upped the ante with this clever gag. It remains to be seen if another police department will top it.

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

This photo of teens praying on prom night is sparking controversy
This high school is handing out ‘modesty ponchos’ to cover up prom dresses deemed inappropriate
Teen shamed for wearing Chinese dress to prom sparks cultural appropriation debate

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