Splatters of paint were washed off statues of a firefighter and police officer outside Calgary City Hall on Friday afternoon after they were vandalized.
Red paint could be seen splashed on the statues’ bodies, while yellow paint was smeared on the badges on each of the hats the firefighter and officer are wearing.
Two hats at the base of each statue were also painted with yellow paint, and white spray paint tagged the base of each one.
“I thought it was disgusting,” Calgary police Supt. Ryan Jepson said Friday.
“It’s as disgusting as it would be if a memorial site was desecrated anywhere. So, it’s unfortunate that it happened and I understand that it’s likely out of some frustration from some community members.
“That is not OK. It doesn’t solve anything.”
Jepson said the CPS is listening to the community and hearing out its frustrations and is eager to have conversations on how police’s relationship with the public can improve in the city.
“We’ll solve those problems mutually as opposed to vandalizing memorial sites,” he said.
Jepson said while Calgary police officers are sworn public servants, they’re also people, and take acts of vandalism like this one personally.
The Calgary Fire Department also condemned the targeting of the statues on Friday, with public information officer Carol Henke saying the images of the paint on the statues “saddened” her and left her at a loss for words.
“The statue and the monument, they are there to represent what we do as emergency responders,” she said. “Firefighters, we’re in service to Calgarians, to help them in their time of need.
“For someone to deface it like that, it’s just really hurtful. It’s really hurtful.”
Henke said she was left wondering what the motive would have been for the vandalism, adding that anyone with concerns, complaints or issues is encouraged to make their frustrations known in other, more constructive ways.
Jepson said the vandalism will be investigated fully.