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By A. Pawlowski

OK, he's no Justin Timberlake, but a police officer in Missouri who challenged a group of neighborhood kids to a dance contest is getting kudos for connecting with his community in a novel way.

Officer Jeff Krebs was on his beat — and off it — in eastern Kansas City on Sunday when his partner offered the youngsters Jolly Ranchers candy if they would take part in a dance-off with the music-loving officer, NBC News affiliate KSHB reports

The impromptu showdown — recorded by a local resident and uploaded to YouTube by the Kansas City Police Department — shows Krebs, well, doing his best. 

After watching the nimble youngsters flip into handstands and smoothly do the robot, the 26-year-old officer busts out a signature move he calls The Octopus, an unsightly blend of Jazzercise, country-style toe-tapping and disco finger jabs.

"Oof," the unseen camera operator says.

But Krebs wasn't finished yet. For his finale, he appeared to try a breakdancing hand glide only to end up sprawled on his back. (Call that one The Upside-Down Turtle.)

Did Krebs really think he had a chance?

“What I was thinking was, I can’t believe I’m doing this,” he admitted to the station, adding that he believes a bit of fun can go a long way in fostering community bonds.

“When I went through the (police) academy and when I first got hired on, I told them how I wanted to interact with the community and start building some rapport with the citizens because I feel like if we build rapport with them, then they’re more likely to call us when they need us,” he explained to KSHB.

The Kansas City Police Department supports the spirit of Krebs' sentiment — if not his awkward moves.

“Maybe we'll start including dancing as a course at the Academy, because it sure looks like we could use it,” the department wrote on its Facebook page.

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