A SCOTTISH policeman who made worldwide headlines after being filmed belting out disco classic I Will Survive in a pub to help diffuse tension has spoken out for the first time about his new-found fame.
Sergeant Jon Harris, who sang the 1978 Gloria Gaynor number in full uniform at the Waterloo Bar in Glasgow last Wednesday, said he was “completely overwhelmed” after millions watched the video.
Sgt Harris and a team of officers were called to the pub in Argyle Street after reports of a brawl in the bar, and arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of assault.
In a bid to diffuse tension among pub-goers, Sgt Harris took up the microphone and started singing the anthem to the packed pub.
The sergeant, who has been in the force for 10 years, said: “I am completely overwhelmed by it.
“We’re always encouraged by our managers to engage with the public as much as possible.
“Police officers are very much a part of the community and we are approachable and friendly. If a bit of singing and dancing can push that message across then that’s got to be a good thing.
“It was just quite unbelievable how far the video and story spread for what I thought was me just doing my job and engaging with the community.
“The positive reaction that it got was quite unbelievable.”
He added: “I just think it’s exactly the sort of thing we should be doing - getting out and about, being seen in public, and maybe demonstrating that policing is about more than fighting crime and we’re not as bad as some make us out to be.”
Speaking about the incident, he said his team of community officers were dealing with a road accident when they were alerted to a brawl taking place inside the pub.
Sgt Harris and his team arrested the suspect, reviewed CCTV, made sure the victim was okay and took witness statements before he was asked to “take the microphone” by the woman running the karaoke.
He said: “We were discussing karaoke songs and I was effectively challenged to go and sing my song.
“She (the lady in charge of the running the karaoke) didn’t believe that I looked like a Gloria Gaynor man, but the people in the pub had been so positive in helping us with our enquiries, if there was anything I could do to cheer them up and lighten the mood I thought it would be a good chance to do that. So up I went.”
After finding out that even singer Gloria Gaynor tweeted her approval, he said: “That made my day - I just thought that was brilliant that she’d seen the video and appreciated, maybe more what I’d done and the situation I was in, rather than my vocal rendition.”