For decades, the NYPD Citywide Vandals Task Force has pounded the pavement in its quest to end the graffiti scourge in the city. They’re out there every day, arresting graffiti artists and educating local residents on the harms of graffiti. Their dedication has earned them accolades from the city, and even a segment on NPR’s This American Life. We thought that Banksy’s presence would have put the 75 officers of the task force on high alert during his surprise month-long residency. So imagine our surprise to find images of cops posing with Banksy’s artwork, smiling, repping the artist’s graffiti.
Pictures of uniformed officers posing with Banksy’s pieces have surfaced in a couple places. Yesterday’s East New York entrepreneurs even let NYPD officers look at Banksy’s graffiti beaver for free.
So, wait, some graffiti is totally harmless and in fact might bring together communities?
Runnin’ Scared called the Vandals Task Force to get their take, but were told that almost everyone was out on duty.
As is their mandate, nay, their raison d’être. Quoth the task force’s website:
“The officers assigned to the Vandals Task Force possess a passion for their work that is matched only by the commitment of the Department to ensure that we are relentless in our efforts to battle graffiti.”
Got any pics of cops showing their passion for street art? Send them to us and we’ll add them to our collection on the next page.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 11, 2013