Students and police collaborate over art to ‘overcome cultural, generational divides’

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Students from Virginia Beach Public Schools have joined with police to create art in an effort to enhance community relationships by breaking down the cultural and generational divides that exist today.

The project is about a year in the making, and this morning the Virginia Beach Police Department unveiled the collaborative Art Walk initiative. The murals are open to the public and located outside of the 4th Precinct Command at 5152 Lobaugh Drive.

The student artists attend public middle and high schools within the 4th Precinct Command jurisdiction. They were asked to paint two murals that demonstrate their vision of a positive community-police partnership combined with school pride and a hopeful future.

“Each school’s resource officer (SRO) encouraged open dialogue with students throughout the process to address any misconceptions and to inspire lasting relationship. That positive interaction found its way to the imagery captured on the final designs featured on the 16 murals,” said city officials in a statement released.

VIDEO: Check out the Art Walk video from the student artist perspective.

“The presence of SROs at our schools goes beyond an added layer of protection for our kids — it provides daily opportunities for positive interaction,” said Deputy Chief Pat L. Gallagher. “Through this initiative, it is our goal to strengthen relationship through dialogue between our students and the VBPD while giving our young people a platform to create artistic images that reflect that basic theme.”

For more information on the student Art Walk, contact Rae Pearson Benn at 757-385-6279 or by email.

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