Liberty police officer fights crime with pencil, paper - KCTV5

Liberty police officer fights crime with pencil, paper

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LIBERTY, MO (KCTV) -

Year after year, Kansas City has one of the highest murder rates in the country.

However, there is one police officer who is taking a different approach to try to stop it, and he is touching communities all across the metro.

When he is not patrolling the streets at night, Cpl. Gregory Powell, with the Liberty Police Department, fights crime with a pencil.

He started drawing to cope with what he sees and to show how gun violence tears apart families and strains communities.

"It is an additional perspective that some people don't have. We see gun violence in our community - acts committed while people are angry and all kinds of weapons involved," Powell said.

His sketches are all part of a larger effort - The Artist for Life Project.

Darryl Chamberlain started the project and is the current director. He is also a self-taught artist.

"Hand gun violence is a pressing issue that affects all of us," he said. "Someone is getting shot every 3 1/2 days. We want them to know that we are nearly five times the national average."

Posters are going up all over the metro to get people to talk about using guns responsibly.

"You get to say, 'what do we do about this? How do we address this?'" Chamberlain said.

Powell feels his talent is another tool he has to help keep the community safe.

"If I can combine my job and my art and make an impression, that is that much the better," he said.

The art will be displayed at Southeast Community Center in September.

After that, copies of the posters will hang throughout the metro in libraries, community centers and barber and beauty shops to reach as many eyes as possible.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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