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Graffiti Task Force sets 2009 projects

Posted: March 12, 2009 6:19 p.m.
Updated: March 12, 2009 4:59 p.m.
The City's Graffiti Removal Task Force is conducting a number of events this year to maintain the aesthetic of Santa Clarita streets.

January and February proved to be highly productive months for the Task Force, with nearly 900 residents and community kids participating in graffiti removal and awareness projects.

More than 650 teens from the Newhall Community Center, high school swim teams, Castaic Middle School and Sheriff's Vital Intervention Directional Alternatives (VIDA) participated in graffiti removal- related programs in January and February of this year alone. They received information on graffiti consequences, the importance of respecting private and public property, the Graffiti Rewards Program and how to make a difference in the community by volunteering for Teens Against Graffiti (TAG) wash projects.

"The Graffiti Removal Task Force is such a valuable asset to the City in that is provides a multifaceted approach to tagging," said Councilmember Bob Kellar. "The Task Force not only focuses on graffiti removal, but hosts proactive presentations to deter students from defacing property and provide them with the tools to spot potential taggers."

In January, 16 fourth-graders from Old Orchard Elementary School removed more than 40 tags from the wash on Avenue Scott. Additionally, 19 Community Court juvenile offenders removed more than 100 tags in another local wash as part of the community service they must perform to successfully complete the program.

In addition to hundreds of teens participating in graffiti removal and awareness programs, nearly 950 calls and more than 100 eService requests were reported in January and February and thanks to the efforts of the city's Community Services, Transit and Communications Divisions, "Fight Graffiti... Get Rewarded" ads were installed on 70 local Santa Clarita buses.

Last year, the rewards program gave $1,500 in rewards to residents who provided information leading to the arrest and conviction of graffiti vandals. With the ad campaign, the Graffiti Task Force hopes to exceed last year's 292 arrests and discourage tagging on local buses.

January and February were incredibly productive months, but the Graffiti Task Force continued its efforts with the Rio Vista Wash Project on Friday, March 6, when more than 1,000 students and parents got together to remove graffiti and trash behind Rio Vista Elementary School.

Additional graffiti removal projects and presentations will continue to take place at local schools and sites across the cty in 2009. The Graffiti Task Force will continue its efforts to remove graffiti in the city and keep offenders from tagging.


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