Champaign, IL – “How do residents feel about their local police department’s representation in a popular video game?” This question has emerged in Champaign after a former University of Illinois student, modified skins inside “Grand Theft Auto” to include detailed depictions of the Champaign Police Department.
The creation, shared in a Facebook group, features accurate recreations of police vehicles and uniforms, sparking a mix of reactions from the Champaign community. While some see it as a harmless tribute, others express concerns over the potential misrepresentation or misuse of the police image in a game known for its controversial content.
The Champaign Police Department has officially requested Sunday the removal of these images from social media and the game, citing unauthorized use of their likeness. This development has opened a dialogue among residents about the boundaries of artistic expression and the impact of such portrayals on the community’s perception of its law enforcement.
Residents are now engaging in discussions, both online and offline, about the implications of seeing their local police in a virtual world setting.