The Heroes Project salutes those who MKE a difference. To engage with our community virtually, we've documented the stories of downtown's frontline heroes who ultimately inspired our next mural project. The mural, titled "The Hero in You," by Milwaukee artist Ken Brown will transform MacArthur Square this June. For more details, visit www.milwaukeedowntown.com/art. Photography for Milwaukee Downtown by Andrew Feller.
Officer Carlos Felix with the Milwaukee Police Department is the District #1 Community Liaison, which includes the central business district. In just a matter of a couple of months, his days have drastically changed since the Safer At Home order was put in place. Previously, his days would have consisted of meetings and events with community groups, businesses, and the public. Now, all of his scheduled community gatherings are canceled or pending until further notice. Officers still respond to all calls for service and have to enter the unknown every day, but they try to take preventive measures by limiting personal contact when possible and masking up. Some minor changes were also made to better suit the community they serve, the law enforcement partners and other businesses they work with.
At home, Carlos’s daughter is living with her grandmother since he and his wife work with the public. They communicate with each other daily, but it doesn’t feel the same coming home and not having a daughter there to greet him.
When asked what he will remember most during these times, Carlos mentioned when the nation came to a complete stop. The busy streets in downtown Milwaukee were deserted, there were long lines at the stores, and everyday items that stocked the shelves became hard to find. Carlos expresses, “I’ll remember how not only my family, but so many other families’ regular lifestyle changed during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.”
Carlos has adapted the quote by Kelly Rudolph to fit his outlook during these hard times. “Women are often brought up to care for everyone else first and have only the time that’s leftover for ourselves. That would be okay if there ever was any time left over, but there isn’t, and until we schedule it, there may never be. No need to feel guilty taking “Me Time” anymore. Flight attendants instruct us to put our own oxygen mask on first before helping others, in case of an emergency. We can’t help anyone if we’re dead, and sometimes we die inside taking care of everyone but ourselves.”
While so much has changed in the last couple of months, one thing has remained a constant -- the Milwaukee Police Department and its officers, including Officer Felix, continues to keep the city safe. It’s why we’re proud to feature police officers and firefighters everywhere as part of our new mural at MacArthur Square, titled “The Hero in You" by Ken Brown coming this June.