Anti-Graffiti Call to Action!

Posted: April-18-13 Posted by: WOW

Thanks to everyone who attended the anti-graffiti meeting last week! Property owners, businesses, and residents from Wells Ave, West of Wells, and Midtown met to discuss the recent, city-wide, rash of graffiti and what we can do to combat it. First and foremost we decided that the City Council needs to hear from us on this issue! We have chosen May 8 as the date we will all go to Council to voice our concerns. We will go for public comment at 12 noon, and we will need as many people to attend as possible!! Please plan on this.

At the meeting we had a long discussion that included background information from Councilman Delgado, RPD, and Code Enforcement. When we go to Council we decided on the following points as our top priorities; however, if you come, please add anything else that you think is important:

Reno used to have a very effective anti-graffiti team. This team would build cases against taggers, knew them by name, and got them off the streets. With budget cuts this team was dismantled and the current wave of graffiti is most certainly one of the results. The position that is probably most crucial to the anti-graffiti effort is the Graffiti Abatement Coordinator, or a similar position that is a dedicated RPD Community Services Officer who complies info against taggers. Angie Borrayo has been in this position for years and now works only part time on a contract basis - if anti-graffiti efforts are to be effective, this position must be restored.
Though RPD has recently dedicated more resources towards solving graffiti cases, in addition to a full time Community Services Officer, there must also be a detective dedicated full time to this effort.
There must be stiffer penalties for taggers especially in relationship to the type of property that they are damaging. Historic brick buildings are irreparably damaged by taggers. Could the City, including Code Enforcement and the City Attorney, look at increasing penalties for both taggers as well as for property owners who do not remove graffiti promptly?
Most all residential property owners in Reno pay Waste Management for the lease of their trash cans, yet Waste Management refuses to take tags off of the cans that they own. Many property owners are vigilant about removing graffiti from their own properties and purchase expensive supplies and spend time doing so. The City of Reno should press Waste Management to also take responsibility for removing graffiti from residential containers.
There are other creative solutions that the community could work on together with the City. With some leadership from Council and the community we could ask NABs for money to purchase graffiti kits and increase outreach and awareness.

In addition to asking the City for help on this issue - property owners and residents should also take individual action to reduce graffiti. Here are a few things that residents and businesses can do. Please pass this on to your neighbors and fellow business owners:

  • Always report tagging - if you see graffiti that is not on your property call it in to 334-INFO immediately - you can leave a message with description and address. If your own property has been tagged make sure to file a police report. This can be done simply and quickly online. Make sure to put the amount of damages (including cost to you to remove the graffiti) so that these can be added to cases that RPD builds against taggers. Online police reports can be filed here:
  • Remove Graffiti Immediately. Taggers want recognition, i.e., others to see their tags. The sooner you remove it the less attention they will get. Also, the longer graffiti stays up the more additional graffiti it attracts.
  • Keep properties well lit, front and back, especially in alleys. Well lit areas lack shadows within which taggers and others can hide.

And finally, in other news: We will behaving a neighborhood-wide clean up on May 4! More info to follow. Dumpsters provided. Mark your calendars!!