TRANG — Thai police stations are known for being grimy, dreary and stressful. But an adorable mural painted by children at the entrance of a police station in Trang is drawing visitors intent on taking selfies.
The painting of a grinning policeman and policewoman greets visitors at Kantang Police Station, sparking fun interactions locals and cops, even making some cops puff out their chests in pride – after all, their kids painted it.
“I saw that street art is everywhere,” explained station superintendent Col. Poom Bantip. “When people come to the station, they don’t have to have a completely bureaucratic experience. There should be some art for people to relate to.”
Poom said he spearheaded the mural and thought long and hard about the type of painting that would suit a government office while remaining cheerful.
“I decided that the kids of my officers should be the ones to draw, since this police station is like a big family. I didn’t want to just throw cash at someone to draw,” Poom said. “These kids should be the artists, because they’re around the station a lot and know what it’s like.”
Poom had his officers choose the design for a mural from drawings submitted by their art-skilled kids. The colonel then footed the 3,000 baht bill for a handful of kids to get to work, who finished painting in only a few days. Then, the selfies started coming.
“Besides people who contact the police on general matters, people and students also come here to use the bathroom because it’s near a market and a port,” Poom said. “They said [the mural] was cute and started taking selfies with it.”
Poom feels most warm inside when people engage in conversation with the police about the mural.
“This dad who is stationed right at the mural is really happy when people ask about the drawing, because his kid drew it. So he tells people all day that his kid drew it. That makes me happy too,” Poom said.