The Orillia Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have partnered with students from the Community and Justice Services, as well as Protection Security and Investigations programs of Georgian College to clean up graffiti in Orillia.
The clean-up and awareness campaign has been a joint project between community safety students and officers and addresses the issue of graffiti in Orillia. Using the concepts of community mobilization and engagement, the OPP want the public to take pride in their community and to report all graffiti to police. “If you ignore it, you allow it” is the slogan that has been created for this initiative.
On Friday, Oct. 16 at noon, students, volunteers and officers will take part in cleaning up graffiti throughout the city.
In addition to the identification and cleaning of graffiti “The students will be making a presentation to the Police Service Board with solutions to the graffiti issue,” says Steve Cartwright, Sergeant, for the Orillia Detachment Ontario Provincial Police. “We want community members, along with students, to take pride in their city. The goal is to create a culture in which everyone does not ignore, allow or condone graffiti.”
Based on the recommendations being put forward by the Community Justice Services and Protection Security and Investigations students, additional student based projects have taken shape, including a group of Child and Youth Care students who are looking at expanding the graffiti project. These students are completing a Community Projects Initiative placement working with the Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH), more specifically the Youth Arts Council portion of OMAH.
“The focus of their project is to compile research around public art policies with the intentions of putting together a full report to bring to the City of Orillia Council around the development and formalization of public art policies,” says Joshua Barath, a professor in Georgian’s Human Services and Community Safety programs.
“This includes recommendations on why it would be important for the city to have public art policies, how it might allow for the creation of public art pieces such as large murals as well as why it is important to have youth and the greater community involved in such activities.”