Reporting - Cleanup - Prevention
There's a positive benefit derived from moving quickly to report, document and cleanup graffiti vandalism. Of course, the graffiti is removed sooner, which we all appreciate. But a speedy report followed by a cleanup makes a repeat offense much less likely.
Taggers know people will be watching much more closely from then on. The likelyhood of getting reported and going through the expense and humiliation of court and cleanup crew is a good deterrant.
Business people don't have a moment to spare. The nuisance and expense of repeated taggings can often be avoided. A quick report & cleanup is one of the very best deterrents of a repeat visit. The same is true for homeowners.
The report form is self-explanatory. You are asked to describe the kind of surface that is marked, the color and kind of marking material (spray paint, magic marker, etc.), and content if identifiable. The location of the graffiti and directions to it are very important as they will save time for Salem's Graffiti Prevention Coordinator and crew.
Here's what happens:
If you spot some graffiti, fill out one of the report forms you keep in your glovebox. Later, you can use it as a reminder for an email report to Salem's Graffiti Prevention Coordinator. Because the reports are electronic, these reports can be processed efficiently.
And then, unless we want to help with a cleanup as a small group project, our job is done until the next time we spot some graffiti or a tagger (Call 9-1-1). This is an opportunity for Salem's online community to volunteer its eyes, computers and reporting skills to help keep our city beautiful.
What happens after your report is received? Kim Nelson or an intern will contact the property owner advising them of the problem, and what they can do to help. A photo and notes are taken at the scene. If the property owner isn't available, a waiver form will be left for the owner to sign and mail to Salem's Graffiti Coordinator so the crew can come out and repaint. Permission for the City to repaint is necessary.
If there is no response and no cleanup is made by the property owner, he or she will be contacted again. This time it's still a courtesy call, but it is also a prelude to City Legal enforcing Salem's Anti-Graffiti Ordinance.
With permission to repaint given, the markings are painted over with a neutral-colored primer, which is available free from Salem Fire Stations. The property owner is responsible for the final color coat, but many times the crew will repaint with the property owner's paint if he or she makes it available.
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