Thanks to two Neighborhood Coordinating Officers a Bronx man got his van repainted after vandals tagged it with graffiti.
Police Officers Gelband and Flynn of the 44 Precinct were cleaning up graffiti in front of a store at 165 Street and Ogden Avenue as part of their Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCO) community outreach when the van owner approached them. His vehicle had been tagged in a separate incident and he knew the two officers were known for their graffiti cleanup work.
The NCO’s tried to remove the black paint from the van but were only partially successful. A few weeks later the two cops were patrolling in the rear of 903 Summit Avenue near the Major Deegan Expressway when they saw a group of men painting a large mural on the building. That wall was a popular spot for graffiti vandalism so Officer Gelband introduced himself as the graffiti coordinator.
The artists, it turned out, were painting the mural with permission from the building’s owner. They were also looking for more places to put up their work so Officer Gelband thought they could be a solution to some of the community’s graffiti problems. The artists were initially skeptical of the police but after the officers explained that they were going to help them find locations for new murals, they expressed interest. When the artists found out about the vandalized van they offered to put their art on it to show their appreciation for the officers help.
Now the artists are happy to have their artwork rolling around the Bronx, and the van owner is pleased to have the vandalism covered up.