City staff on lookout for graffiti - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

City staff on lookout for graffiti

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Posted: Sunday, May 28, 2006 7:37 am | Updated: 4:14 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

City employees are noticing more graffiti around Scottsdale, but it’s not due to an increase in the crime, officials say. Scottsdale is making it a priority for city staff to report any graffiti they see around the city, said Malcolm Hankins, code enforcement manager for Scottsdale.

“I believe there’s a closer attention identifying it by city staff as a whole,” Hankins said.

There were 662 cases of graffiti reported to Scottsdale’s Graffiti Abatement last year. With 333 cases reported so far this year, the city is on track to surpass last year’s total.

While residents can call the city to report graffiti, most cases are identified by city employees.

Of the 662 graffiti sites cleaned up in 2005, about 40 were reported by community members and about 150 were identified by the graffiti removal specialist, Hankins said. The rest were noticed by city staff.

Scottsdale employs one full-time graffiti removal specialist, who takes care of most of the eyesores, and 14 code inspectors who can take care of small graffiti jobs, Hankins said.

Graffiti isn’t a huge problem for the city, said Scottsdale police spokesman detective Sam Bailey. “We just don’t experience that kind of thing in our city that some other cities do,” he said.

But graffiti is still something Scottsdale wants to avoid, since it sometimes signals a neighborhood is going downhill, Hankins said.

Removing graffiti also deters graffiti artists, said Scottsdale spokesman Pat Dodds.

“They like their artwork to stay up,” he said.

Community members can report graffiti by calling (480) 312-7032.

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