Speed is essential

Dear Editor:Downey graffiti abatement begins daily at 6:30 a.m. when telephone calls on the recorder of the Graffiti Hotline are downloaded. It is important that your report be short and accurate so time is not wasted locating the material. Rapid removal of graffiti is an effective prevention tool. Communities with successful graffiti abatement show that rapid removal, within 24-48 hours, results in nearly zero rate of recurrence. These communities credit the reduction in graffiti in their cities to rapid removal so that is why a quick call to our Graffiti Hotline - (562) 923-4484 - is important. Don't wait for the other guy to call - you are the other guy. Abandoned shopping carts must be reported as soon as possible by calling (800) 252-4613. The sooner they are reported, the sooner they will be removed. It is important to keep up the appearance of a neighborhood by keeping it clean and neat. Remove litter and trash, fix broken fences, trim landscape and keep all lighting working properly. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, an exterior appearance that suggests apathy and neglect attracts vandals. Graffiti cleanup takes a big bite out of municipal budgets. Phoenix, Ariz., spends more than $6 million annually on graffiti cleanup. The city of San Jose spent about $2 million in the year 2006; Las Vegas spends about $3 million annually. According to the Bureau of Justice, graffiti is the most common type of property vandalism. Ensure that any existing anti-graffiti laws are enforced. Law enforcement dedicated to tracking and apprehending graffiti vandals is a strong deterrent. If you witness graffiti being applied, immediately call 911. Speed is essential to apprehend these criminals. Never attempt to approach or try to stop them; leave it to the police. Educating our youth about graffiti is important. Graffiti abatement employee Lisa Fox and Keep Downey Beautiful coordinator Carol Rowland often go to schools, civic, social and religious groups to speak about graffiti in our city. Lisa and employee Shane Ellison often take a Downey graffiti truck to locations where they demonstrate how the material is removed from our streets, buildings, fences, walls, telephone booths, etc. Remember: the quicker we call and report graffiti and shopping carts, the better. Speed is essential. -- Byron Dillon, Committee member, Keep Downey Beautiful

********** Published: February 10, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 43