Mundelein officials have launched a fundraiser for a bronze statue that would honor the town's police officers.
The proposed, life-size piece would depict a police officer standing with two children. Called "The Protector," it's expected to cost an estimated $70,000.
The project was launched by local resident Jack Forshaw. He had noticed Mundelein doesn't have any public art installations and thought that should be rectified.
"I think public art shows style and sophistication and shows a commitment to the community," Forshaw, 71, told the Daily Herald.
He got the idea for the statue more than a year ago and began informally talking to various village officials about it.
Forshaw publicly proposed the statue at a village board meeting in June. He brought a small model to show trustees what a statue might resemble.
The idea was well-received by the board, which created a special committee the following month to oversee design, funding and other elements of the project. Forshaw was selected to lead the group.
A retired North Shore Gas employee, Forshaw isn't an artist, and he doesn't own an art collection.
"I have no taste, no talent," he admitted.
But he believes public art inspires investment in a community and encourages similar projects.
A Minnesota company called Brodin Studios has been commissioned to create the statue once funds are collected. Brodin is owned and operated by retired police officers and firefighters, and they specialize in statues honoring public-safety and military personnel.
Similar statues honoring police officers or firefighters can be found in Gurnee, Arlington Heights, Palatine, Schaumburg and other suburbs.
If Mundelein's fundraising effort is successful, the statue will be installed at the main entrance to the police station, facing Route 45.
Mundelein Deputy Police Chief Don Hansen is on the statue committee and is a fan of the proposed design.
"The reason we get into this job is not for the money, it's to serve the public. And the statue is a good reminder of that," he said.
Hansen said the statue will be a tribute to the men and women who have worn the uniform in Mundelein and to all law enforcement personnel.
Donations for the project can be made at the police station, 221 N. Lake St. Checks also can be mailed to village hall, 440 E. Hawley St., Mundelein, IL, 60060.
Envelopes should be marked "Police Statue Fund."