New Orleans police officer designs expansive mural at NOPD Training Academy

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WAFB) - A New Orleans Police Officer is giving back in a different kind of way.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Police Department unveiled a new mural at its new Training Academy painted by one of its own.

Eighth District Officer Shontrell Johnson created and designed the mural which proudly says "Get Behind the Badge." She volunteered to paint the mural as the police department were looking for talent internally.

"I was always about the community and doing stuff for people, so I just love doing it," said Johnson. "I love art too." Johnson has a degree in art but has always wanted to be an NOPD officer. This is Johnson's seventh mural in her painting career.

Johnson says her mural was inspired by the journey a police officer takes before hitting the streets which depict recruits doing physical training, police academy graduation, and police officers working in several fields such as K-9 unit, motorcade, and SWAT.

"The idea I had was to work from progression, from the bottom to the top," Johnson told NOPD news. "So I started off as a recruit and the things you go through as a recruit and just move on up from graduation and then on to other things in NOPD that you can join."

The mural stands at 20 feet tall and 5 feet wide and took Johnson two weeks to complete from start to finish. She says she hopes it will serve as inspiration for incoming recruits.

"You can reach whatever call you want to," Johnson says. "You can go all the way to the top."

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