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Artist Creates Horse Sculptures To Honor Chicago Police Officers

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Police departments across the country are under intense scrutiny after a series of violent confrontations between officers and citizens.

But today, a 100 pound symbol of respect for the dangerous work of law enforcement arrived at the Chicago Police Department's 19th district in Wrigleyville.

It's the work of a local artist, who walked CBS 2's Jim Williams through her creative process.

It is a gift from artist Diana Leviton Gondek to Chicago Police officers and to the Lake View community. The fiber glass horse statue features images of the ivy of Wrigley Field, the LGBT pride rainbow, Belmont Harbor and many others.

"It takes about a month to do one of these," Leviton Gondek said.

The center piece of the work is the saddle, which has stars for the fallen Chicago police officers who served the North Side community.

44th ward Alderman Tom Tunney commissioned the work.

"They are all a lot and so many, many good officers doing good work every day and we have to celebrate that, also," Alderman Tunney said.

It is Leviton Gondek's third horse sculpture. One was vandalized on Michigan Avenue. It was repaired and is safely at Mayor Emanuel's office.

Leviton Gondek's newest creation will be safe as well gently moved from her Bridgeport studio to the lobby of the 19th District Police Station, down the street from Wrigley Field.

"It's incredibly hard job that they do and I wanted to honor them and also protect them," she said.

Protecting them because the money Alderman Tunney paid for the horse sculpture will be used to buy bulletproof vests for officers.

The statue will be formally unveiled Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the 19th district station on Addison near Halsted. The alderman said the station serves a community meeting place, so a lot of Lake View residents will see the horse.

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