A ribbon cutting took place at the Junction City Police Department Wednesday afternoon for the JCPD’s new mural.
The mural was painted by Mindy Allen of Mindy’s Murals.
Allen was not able to be present for the ribbon cutting, but a number of city and county officials were.
Geary County Commissioner Trish Giordano worked for the JCPD for 28 years before retiring after being elected to serve on the commission last year. She didn’t play a major role in the planning process for the mural, but remembers preliminary discussions about the project.
Giordano said she is happy with the outcome.
“I think it’s a great addition to the landscaping here and I think it just beautifies this corner and truly represents what JCPD stands for,” she said.
Giordano reflected briefly on her law enforcement career.
“Geary County/Junction City has been so supportive of law enforcement over my 28 years and they need that support more than ever,” she said. “I just feel like this captures what we’ve been, what we all stand for and what a great community we have.”
Junction City Police Chief John Lamb was the one who cut the ribbon. He went over the symbolism in the mural — including symbols of Kansas such as a sunflower and a buffalo and the way the two officers were painted so they were standing in front of the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Arch which stands in Heritage Park and which is depicted on the mural. According to Lamb, the arch is emblematic of the Junction City community itself and the way the officers are positioned in front of it stands for the ways in which JCPD officers are supposed to protect the members of that community.
“The archway represents the community that we’ve sworn to protect,” he said.
The rivers represent the Kansas and Republican Rivers that converge near Junction City and the American flag in the background of the mural represent the Constitution of the United States. The Junction City Police Department badge and the Blue Jay of Junction City High School are incorporated in the mural. Fort Riley is also represented on the mural with the Big Red One logo — the symbol of the 1st Infantry Division.
“This thing is going to be here longer than me, longer than the majority of the officers here,” Lamb said. “This thing’s here to stay.”
He said the mural and the wall it was painted on was paid for by asset forfeiture money, meaning no taxpayer dollars went into its construction.
Lamb said the JCPD chose to have the mural commissioned to beautify Junction City and, in its own small way, improve quality of life while expressing the department’s dedication to Junction City.
“Murals are beautifications for the city and it’s a great opportunity to express what we feel are our commitment and our responsibilities are,” he said.