Graffiti Artist Creates ‘Unity’ Mural for Fargo Police
The department is trying to build positive relationships between officers and young people
FARGO, N.D. — A new mural is covering the wall of the Fargo Police Substation on 25th Street South, but its main purpose isn’t just to look good.
“I think it’s gonna speak to young people especially. The way our artist Alex Lopez is creating it and expressing it, the words on they are reflecting what we’re trying to do. So, helping youth dream, seek and achieve,” said Officer Michael Bloom.
Those three words embody the initiative of the department’s Community Trust Officers. The program not only wants to inspire young people through graffiti, it also wants to connect with kids through things they’re passionate about, like comedy and hip–hop.
“It’s like they know you’re speaking their language. They know, clearly, look how excited they are. It’s like wow, this guy is here. He understands me, and he’s here to serve me,” said hip-hop artist Words Play.
Bloom says the Community Trust Officers program has not only impacted kids, but it’s resonated with their families as well.
“The impact has been huge, but a lot of it’s just been with parents. I think when parents who had a distrust with police see how much we care about their kids, it bridges gaps.”
Bridging that divide means creating a community of strength, positivity and trust.
“I think ultimately, we all want to trust authority figures. We all wish we could trust the police. And ideally, this is what policing looks like. You learning the language of the community, entering it, and asking what it needs, and making it a better place, a more beautiful place. So, I jumped at the opportunity because I think this is a representation of something greater that America needs and it’s happening in Fargo. Who would’ve thought, right?” said Word Play.