City crews removed the memorial of fallen Kalamazoo police officer Eric Zapata from its spot near the Kalamazoo Mall.
Karianne Thomas, chief of public safety for the city, said she asked for the statue to be moved to the headquarters building for the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.
"It had been recently vandalized and I wanted to ensure it did not become a target of future damage," Thomas said in a written statement on the request. "Additionally, while we have it here we will be arranging some routine maintenance and cleaning of the statue."
Kalamazoo Deputy City Manager Jeff Chamberlain said the statue was spray painted recently, but no suspects connected to the vandalism have been identified.
The Eric Zapata Memorial was created after he died in the line of duty, April 18, 2011. Zapata was shot after being called to back up another officer at Hays Park.
Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers hold annual memorial events at the statue to remember their fallen friend.
The statue was removed Wednesday, July 8, 2020.
In March 2019, the memorial was vandalized, and knocked over. Investigators eventually arrested a 29-year-old Battle Creek man, who was charged will willful destruction of a memorial.