Artists in Mitchellville Lend Their Talents for Fallen Officers

MITCHELLVILLE, Iowa - Two artists in Mitchellville are putting their crafty skills to good use to honor the fallen officers in the Metro this week.

Robin Dickey is putting together small, elastic bands for police officers to wear around their badges. She calls them, "mourning badges," as they have the Des Moines and Urbandale names, along with the symbolic, blue line representing police solidarity through the middle.

"I don't know, I guess it's just, everyone is trying to show their respect and their appreciation for the officers and their families," she said. "And I have the means to do it like this, so this is how I'm doing it."

Dickey says what started as a small effort for the Mitchellville Police Department has blown up on social media; she now has more than 150 requests for these bands.

Another local artist, Matt Cleverley, is bringing some wooden creations to life at his Studio 17 business. He says he began carving wooden American flags for fallen police officers years ago. He sends them to the departments where officers die in the line of duty all across the country. Yesterday, he quickly put together and completed two flags for both officers Justin Martin and Tony Beminio.

"I don't ever expect these families, with what they're going through, to even get back to me, or even say anything," he said. "I don't do it for that, but most of the time, I get a note, or a message on Facebook, that just says, 'Hey, thanks, that helped a lot. It's nice people like you are doing things like this.' And that's why I do it."

Cleverley's flags will be sent to the Des Moines and Urbandale Police Departments, and they'll be displayed during the officers' funerals.