A “Back the Blue” mural was painted outside the headquarters of the Tampa Police Department over the weekend, but city officials said the mural’s organizers did not go through the proper channels.
A group of about 40 people, headed by the groups Back the Blue Florida and Community Patriots of Tampa, painted the mural overnight Saturday to show their support for law enforcement.
Kelli Campbell, an organizer for Back the Blue Florida, told WTSP that the group received help from people who walked past the site and picked up rollers.
“This is a very visible, very big statement that says we are here,” Campbell told the station. “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.
But the project raised eyebrows from city officials who say the groups did not get proper authorization to paint the mural and was not affiliated with Tampa’s mural program.
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Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said in a statement that any tribute to honor law enforcement’s service is welcome but expressed disappointment with the way the groups went about it.
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“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,” Castor said.