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August 22, 2019

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Healing with art: Metro captain’s poem a powerful message on Oct. 1 tragedy

Metro Police Unveils Art

Steve Marcus

Metro Police Capt. Harry Fagel, left, and Patrick Duffy, president and CEO of the Nevada School of the Arts, hold a scroll of “The Route,” a poem written by Fagel, during a news conference at Metro Police Headquarters Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018.

Metro Police Unveils Art

Metro Police Capt. Harry Fagel, left, and Metro Detective Darryl McDonald pose with their artwork during a news conference at Metro Police Headquarters Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. Fagel holds a a scroll of his poem Launch slideshow »

As Metro Police captain Harry Fagel started reading the poetry he had written, many of his fellow officers and their families had tears in their eyes.

The powerful moment occurred at the department’s “Best of the Badge” awards last month, when Fagel — a lifelong poet — read a poem he wrote to honor the victims of the Oct. 1 massacre in Las Vegas and celebrate the actions of first responders.

Fagel’s “The Route” poem was unveiled on a scroll today at the department’s central valley headquarters.

“We are fortunate to have two incredibly strong pillars in law enforcement and the arts,” said Tom Kovach, executive director of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation. “Both of those entities bring order, tranquility and peace when we need it most.”

Kovach was joined by Nevada School of the Arts President Patrick Duffy, who donated the scroll to the agency. The poem’s 48 lines, written in cursive, will serve to commemorate the bravery and heroism of first responders, Duffy said.

The scroll will be brought to community events in Las Vegas, and both Kovach and Duffy said they hope to display it during other Metro outreach events.

Fagel, a 25-year employee with the department, called the poem his most significant artistic work. He said he’s thankful the foundation allows him to mix his passion into his work as a law enforcement captain.

“I was overwhelmed with gratitude this morning,” Fagel said.

Also honored in today’s presentation, nine-year Metro Detective Darryl McDonald was lauded for a ceramic bouquet of roses titled “58 Rose.” The bouquet, which features a photo of slain Metro Officer Charleston Hartfield in the center, will remain on display inside the main entrance of Metro’s central valley headquarters.

“I’m passionate about the piece and I’m thankful for the donations that will allow everyone to enjoy it,” McDonald said.