It is hoped an art project set for display at the Albury police station will continue to develop strong relationships with the Aboriginal community.
The Minya Art project, collaboratively designed by Wiradjuri Elder David Dunn and Aboriginal youth between 5- and 14-years-old, will result in a mural being unveiled in the station foyer early next year.
Albury police Aboriginal community liaison officer Alison Reid said the art project included children because the mural represented moving forward.
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"The children were asked to draw their impressions of the police, and we got some very interesting drawings I must say, and our artist is going to incorporate their thoughts on paper, onto the wall," she said.
"It also creates ownership for our youth, because these children are coming back ... and in another 10 years say 'I did that', then they won't damage it and they'll respect it and in turn they'll respect the police That was the aim of it."
Inspector Scott Russell said the mural was aimed at keeping Aboriginal people out of jail and would build on the work and relationships established after a message stick was passed between the Aboriginal community and Albury police in 2015 and the flying of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags outside the station in 2018.
"It's well documented that Aboriginal people are over-represented in the criminal justice system, so my role here as the crime prevention inspector is to break down those barriers," he said.
"So we now have an alcove or a wall in there that I believe was perfect, and between Alison and myself we decided that an art project would really look good in that space."
Ms Reid said the relationships between Aboriginal people and police had improved in her 10 years in the role.
"I'm proud, I'm as proud as punch, couldn't be prouder," she said.
"The Aboriginal community don't see the police as the enemy any more.
"They actually know Mr Russell and they don't call him Mr Russell, they call him by Scott.
"But that's happening all through the younger officers and they know them by name.
"I don't get as many phone calls from the Aboriginal community to deal with their issues; they ring the station and talk to the officer that they need to now, so it's a big step.
"The relationships are building better because they don't need me as much."
Once unveiled, community members will be welcome to view the artwork.
The project was funded through a NSW Police grant.
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