Spurred by the popularity of the Daily Californian’s hand-sketched columnist portraits, the UC Police Department has hired Hirem Wollingsworth, the artist responsible for the drawings, to sketch suspects based on descriptions.
Although Wollingsworth eagerly accepted the position and has already made several sketches, there are those within the department who question the new artist’s effectiveness. Officer Mark Klempa recalled Hirem’s first day on the job. “He was sketching a robbery suspect based on the description of a store owner,” Klempa told reporters. “After he was done he showed the sketch to the owner, and the owner kind of frowned and said, ‘Yeah, I guess that kinda looks like him. Sort of.’ He seemed satisfied with the drawing but I think he was just too shy to ask Hiram to do it over. Those Koreans are usually pretty complacent.”
Added Klempa, “You’re not going to print that ‘Koreans’ remark, are you?”
Even suspects have criticized the artist’s work. Rape suspect Davis Fortner, who was apprehended on an unrelated charge, had this to say upon seeing Wollingsworth’s hand-drawn wanted poster. “Dude, that looks nothing like me. My jawline is much more defined than that, and look how antisymmetrical the face is. He drew one cheek like twice as big as the other one. Did this guy learn to draw watching ‘The Draw Man’ on PBS or something? Jesus Christ.”
But Hirem plans to retain his position as long as possible, painstakingly crafting each individual sketch with his fist clenched tightly around his pencil as his tongue sticks out of the corner of his mouth. “I like to draw,” he told reporters. “Mom says I draw good.”