Man donates time, talent by creating mural for Sarasota police

- With every brushstroke, 80-year-old Joseph Cuffaro brings life to an empty space in Sarasota.

"I was bringing the beautiful Sarasota into this building. I was creating an image for people to walk by and enjoy," Cuffaro said.

He paints from his heart, but his current creation came from his soul.

"I was giving to the police department," he said.

Cuffaro donated his time and talents by crafting a piece of artwork for officers in Sarasota to enjoy. The picture shows off Sarasota Bay, the Ringling bridge and the city's skyline.

"I hope it takes something with them in terms of the story, the calmness of it," he said.

Cuffaro knows all too well the sacrifices of men and women in uniform. His son is a police officer in West Palm Beach and he used that as an inspiration for the mural.

He said every brush stroke connects him with those serving in Sarasota.

"I began to learn what it was to be a police officer. With that connection, I wanted this to be special," he said.

Police Chief Bernadette DiPino calls it an act of selflessness.

"I think one kind act, no matter how big or small, and this is a huge one. This is on the big scale. (It) will lead to others thinking about what can I do to make a difference, what can I do to be purposeful in this world," DiPino said.

For Cuffaro, it is just a simple gesture of 'thank you.'

"I will do anything that I can do to make that better, even in my own little town," he said.

He hopes it will inspire others to follow.

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