Rabu, 20 Januari 2010

Combatting Grafitti is a Community Effort

Community Member Question:

Last New Years a Council Member suggested to make a resolution to call in Graffiti. Graffiti is one of the most negative images in every community, that is why I have 350-Gone (4663) or 911 for graffiti in progress in my cell phone. It is my belief that the intimidation of Taggers/Gangs devaluate homes, make the community feel unsafe, deface much of the public and private property and at times escalate to harmful situations. This should not be taken lightly and should be a joint effort on all of us in the community to take part to combat this crime by calling it in every where it is seen. It is not my position to have anyone approach such persons. With such harmful and costly actions as graffiti, how does the city deal with reducing these actions?

City Manager Response:

The City of Fontana recognizes the effect that graffiti has on the community as a whole. Graffiti vandalism is not only a quality of life issue for our residents, it also impacts our local business community, and can create a negative impression for people visiting and traveling through Fontana.

We have dedicated many resources towards the removal of graffiti. Citizens that see graffiti are encouraged to call the City’s Graffiti Hotline at 909-350-GONE (4663) or send an e-mail to graffiti@fontana.org. English and Spanish employees are available to assist community members with the filing of their reports.

The City Council established a graffiti response process that requires our graffiti removal crew to remove 80% of all reported graffiti within 24 hours, with no reported graffiti remaining longer than 72 hours. The City’s graffiti removal crew consists of six full time employees operating seven days a week. We have found that quickly removing the graffiti is one of the best deterrents.

Two other notable resources the City uses to combat graffiti are the Graffiti Removal Waiver and the Graffiti Tracker Database. Through the use of a Graffiti Removal Waiver, residents and business owners can give City crews permission to enter privately owned property for the purposes of painting over graffiti. While the responsibility for the appearance and upkeep of private property ultimately belongs to the property owner, this waiver helps to provide another avenue of quick response in fighting the graffiti problem as a whole. For more information on signing a waiver for your residence or business, contact the Public Works Department at (909) 350-6760.

The City also recently enlisted the services of Graffiti Tracker Inc. This company creates a searchable database of graffiti incidents recorded by our graffiti removal crews. Each crew member takes pictures of the graffiti they remove daily using a GPS (Global Positioning System) enabled digital camera. The pictures and the location of the graffiti are uploaded to the Graffiti Tracker database at the end of the day. Police Department personnel can use this database to track prolific taggers working throughout the City. The documented graffiti incidences in the database also aid in the prosecution of taggers once they are apprehended.

It is my belief that the members of this community are one of the best resources to help us continue reducing graffiti in our City.

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