Update: Graffiti Awareness and Arrests are Up, Tagging is Down

An 18-month community effort to rid Anaheim of graffiti has made considerable strides toward achieving its goals, officials said last week.

But the problem is far from solved.

Chief John Welter discusses ways to engage the community's participation in ridding Anaheim of graffiti

Chief John Welter discusses ways to engage the community's participation in ridding Anaheim of graffiti

At a meeting Thursday, about 50 city and police employees joined some community members to discuss accomplishments and next steps for the Anaheim Community Anti-Graffiti Effort (ACAGE).

Among the accomplishments:

  • 478 graffiti-related arrests and 713 cases cleared.
  • More than 27,000 sq. ft. of graffiti removed last summer by the Disney Goals team, comprised of 24 teenage volunteers.
  • The launching of a city-wide program to give parents tools to discourage their children from tagging.
  • The amount of new graffiti being reported is down.

“I’ve very pleased with the effort we’ve made and what’s happened,” Anaheim Police Chief John Welter told attendees. “But we’re not done. We’re not going to stop.”

The Police Department plans to address students at 20 school assemblies. The city’s legal department is considering new ordinances to stiffen penalties. A group of volunteers continues to paint over graffiti as it’s discovered.

The police department is also testing new technology that sends immediate alerts when taggers strike.

Welter said he hopes the group continues to focus on raising awareness.

“It’s not just about enforcement,” he said. “It’s about getting at the root cause.”

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