Dear Editor:On Dec. 23, I called the Graffiti Hotline to report tagging in our neighborhood. Graffiti specialist Lisa Fox took the call and assured me the job would be done as soon as possible. On Christmas Day at 7:30 a.m., we heard the sound of a large truck engine. It was a graffiti department truck and an employee busy cleaning the area. It was amazing to have this job done so early on a holiday, especially Christmas. This is just another reason Downey has such an efficient program of graffiti removal - a dedicated graffiti removal department. Removing and cleaning graffiti costs cities huge sums of money. The city of San Jose spends about $3 million a year; Portland, Ore., about $2 million; Minneapolis about $4 million. The most common type of property vandalism (35 percent) is graffiti, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Many cities agree this type of vandalism must be immediately removed (ideally within 24-48 hours) to be effective. Leaving it up just incites more of this illegal activity. Many studies indicate the majority of taggers are males between the ages of 12 and 21. Favorite sites for graffiti: walls, phone booths, fire hydrants, glass windows, poles, street curbs, sidewalks, sides of railroad cars, sides of large trucks, business signs, pedestrian call buttons at intersections, walls in school and park restrooms… you name it and it's likely to be tagged. Downey's very efficient graffiti removal department uses many kinds of armament to clean up the mess, including a special spray in a can that will remove most tags, pressure systems on their trucks and various chemicals. Downey will remain beautiful if we immediately report graffiti, if we continue to remove any illegally posted signs and if each of us does not litter. - Byron Dillon, Downey Editor's note: The Graffiti Hotline number is (562) 923-4484.
********** Published: January 8, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 38