There was a bit of a baptism at Monday’s dedication of the new eagle sculpture outside the West Bend Police Department on Vine Street.
During the ceremony the skies opened up and those in the audience huddled under coats and umbrellas as the guest speakers failed to miss a beat.
Artist Jeremy Wolf, 38, of Milwaukee was contracted by Friends of Sculpture to design the piece.
Wolf, who specializes in animals, got his inspiration for the eagle from the WBPD badge.
“I liked how the eagle was on top of the badge and I kinda used that as a way into the design process,” Wolf said. “I tried to take that real stylized eagle from the badge and tried to render it in a way that was more realistic.”
Shawn Graff with the Friends of Sculpture said “the piece exceeded our expectations in every way, shape or form.”
“We can’t be more excited that it came together and it was a great partnership with the West Bend P.D.,” he said.
The sculpture, which weighs 250 pounds, took about a year to finish. “The eagle itself was in my studio for about five months and after that it went to the foundry,” said Wolf.
John Torinus with Friends of Sculpture said “any day we can add something beautiful to the community it’s a good day.”
“I like to think of the two wings on this wonderful new eagle as one wing being the community and the other wing being our Police Department and out public service,” Torinus said. “The police can not do their job completely unless they get the full engagement and support from the community, it’s a partnership.”
Former West Bend Police officer King Riffel said he really liked the sculpture. “I was always an eagle man and this resembles the strength and integrity of our national bird and I think it was a good choice,” he said.
Former West Bend Police Chief Whitey Uelmen said it was a “good representation of the police department.”
The sculpture was funded by private donations.
-The blue stone around the base of the sculpture was taken from the front of the building when the addition and remodel was done at the WBPD
-The eagle has a West Bend Police Department badge on it and the detail on the badge is tremendous, according to Police Chief Ken Meuler.