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Anti-Graffiti Effort Continues to Pay Dividends

Graffiti is down. Awareness is up.

But vigilance is still required.

Volunteers paint over graffiti

Those were the key messages Thursday morning at the quarterly meeting of the city’s two-year-old Anaheim Community Anti-Graffiti Effort.

“It’s a lot better than it was when we started,” Police Chief John Welter said. “Now the question is: What are our long-term strategies to sustain this effort.”

School, city and police officials attempted to answer Welter’s question by outlining a number of ways the community continues to combat tagging.

Some examples include:

– Publicizing a confidential graffiti hotline in the schools. Calls are up.
– A spike in court referrals for convicts assigned to community service.
– Children at the Boys and Girls Club developed and play a Monopoly-type game that illustrates the dangers associated with graffiti.

APD also recently engaged in sting operations to cite stores that sell spray paint to minors. The stores received a $1,000 fine.

A few weeks later, when a different underage decoy attempted to buy spray paint, “the store employees nearly chased the kids out of the shops,” said Sgt. Rick Martinez. “All of these efforts continue to make an impact.”