A group of volunteers in Tampa Bay, Florida, came together to paint the nation’s first “Back the Blue” street mural.
The massive mural stretches across the street in front of the Tampa PD. The mural took almost five hours to paint with the help of more than 40 people, many jumped in to assist as they happened to walk by.
“This is a very visible, very big statement that says we are here,” said organizer Kelli Campbell of Back the Blue Florida. “There are many of us. We care about you. We care about you going out every day putting your life on the line for us.”
Team South Florida, another pro-law enforcement charity behind the effort, said it was “truly amazing when the silent majority is fed up and decides to speak up.”
Although the groups applied for a permit before taking to the street, they received criticism for beginning work before receiving approval.
“Any tribute to honor their service is welcome,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said in a statement. “It’s unfortunate they didn’t see the permitting process through so that our community could participate in showing their appreciation for the brave men and women that service our residents every day.”
Both the mayor and the city ultimately approved the request, allowing the effort to move forward.