Lincoln Police Chief Doug Lee posted a Facebook photo Friday of an officer being lured in by donuts to a storm drain with a clown named "It" waiting underneath as his fellow officers were trying to save him.
The post has since gone viral and spread worldwide.
"I think it shows we're human too, that we could laugh at ourselves," Lee said. "Unfortunately, the only contact people have with law enforcement can be in a negative situation. You car was stolen, your house was broken into, you got pulled over for running a red light, something like that and they haven't had positive interaction with law enforcement."
Lee says social media is a way to speak to people in a way they couldn't when he first started.
"We don't wait until someone calls us and asks what happened in that accident or that homicide," Lee said. "We push that information out as quickly as we can. This is an opportunity for us to gain followers and show people we can be a source of information."
Lee says it's important to build trust within the community and show a different side of themselves. Lee sent out an email to his department about the idea and the first four officers who responded were chosen in the photo shoot.
A photographer volunteered to be part of it and edited the clown in the storm drain.
As of Sunday evening, the post had over 160,000 reactions and more than 180,000 shares.
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