Ballard High School student paints mural for Huxley Police Department

Staff Writer
Tri-County Times
Ballard High School student paints mural for Huxley Police Department

A new mural welcomes visitors who stop by the Huxley Police Department.

The mural showcases an intricate painting of the Huxley police badge, positioned on a blue line and centered over the state of Iowa. The thin blue line is a symbol used to commemorate fallen officers. The blue line also represents the importance of the relationship between law enforcement officers and the community they protect.

Jenna Matthews just finished the mural, which took three weeks to paint and was drawn freehand. To make sure she had the correct dimensions for the state of Iowa, Matthews used mathematical ratios. The badge includes the Great Seal of the State of Iowa, which Matthews enlarged and posted near where she was working to accurately depict details. The seal includes a tiny inscription stating, “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”

Mark Pote, Huxley Police chief, said the department moved into the building five years ago and had always wanted to have a mural on the wall just inside the front door. The idea for the badge over the blue line centered on the State of Iowa came from Nate Albaugh, a full-time officer with the Huxley Police.

Once the department had an idea for the mural, Jerry Stoll, Huxley Police sergeant, contacted Amy Endres, a Ballard High School art teacher, to find out if any students would be interested in painting the mural. Matthews, who is starting her senior year this fall at Ballard Community High School, decided she would give the mural a try.

Matthews didn’t receive payment for the mural, but did the painting as a service project for the school. Matthews lives in Huxley and is the daughter of John Matthews from Huxley and Mary Reilly McIntire from Ames.

Along with Pote and Stoll, the Huxley Police Department includes Albaugh, Joe Marchesano and Meagan Cowden, who are full-time officers. Gerald “J.J.” Caligiuri, Kam Shugar and Corey Hagerman serve as part-time officers and Nick Swanson is a reservist.