Leading up to Thursday, budding Lakewood chalk artist Sterling Norris was a little skeptical and even more intimidated by police officers.
My, what some pizza, a bag of goodies and a giant canvas can do for a soon-to-be fourth-grader such as herself.
Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar invited Sterling - a Custer Elementary student - her family and some of her friends to the station for a drawing job she isn't likely to forget anytime soon. The Chief welcomed Sterling and Co. with a pizza party. Each of the seven children got a bag full of goodies, including stickers, pencils and, to their delight, bubbles.
Then, the real fun began for Sterling and her friends when - armed with chalk - they created their own artistic expressions on the entryway outside of the station. Within minutes, the once-blank pavement started to sprout colorful creations. The young artists produced hearts of all shapes and colors. One girl drew an American flag. Another wrote "Chalk The' followed by Earth and two adorable labrador puppies. (At least that's what it looked like, anyway)
One artist scribbled the following message in a heart: "The Police Stashon is awesome, and the officers are cool ... The Chief is nice. The Police are playful."
Speaking of the Chief, he became a work of art himself. Chief Farrar laid on his back while the artists traced around him. After he stood back up, the artists filled in the outline with the normal cop accessories - a badge, a gun and, of course, brightly colored nails.
"This was just a great opportunity to bring these kids in and show them that officers truly are their friends," Farrar said. "We realized that we had the resources and ability to let Sterling use her talent, and we wanted to just make it a fun day."
"We really believe in community," he added. "We really believe in our youth. They can help us do our jobs better. And the best part is we'll be reminded how great our youth are when we walk through the door."
To see a photo gallery, visit http://goo.gl/GbmdDf .