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Organization: City of Santa Clarita
Date: July 22, 2009
Graffiti Task Force Continues to Keep Santa Clarita Clean
    The City's Graffiti Task Force continues to conduct a number of events this year to help eradicate graffiti and maintain the beautiful aesthetics of Santa Clarita streets. May and June 2009 proved to be highly productive months for the Task Force, with community members assisting in removing more than 100 graffiti tags in the City.
    Community involvement is an important component of what makes the Graffiti Task Force a success. The Task Force received more than 1,600 calls and e-notify requests from community members reporting graffiti or gang-related tagging activity, leading to 91 total arrests made this year to date.
    "The City's Graffiti Task Force not only removes graffiti currently in place, but discourages future taggers from vandalizing property altogether," said Mayor Frank Ferry. "The Task Force database has recorded more than 4,000 tags on record, allowing the Sheriff's Department and Task Force members to recognize graffiti patterns and identify individuals and gangs responsible for vandalism."
    Because local youth are largely affected by gang activity and tagging, the Graffiti Task Force makes a point to reach out to schools with information about the consequences of tagging and vandalism. For example, 300 Saugus and Valencia High School students participated in a "Consequences of Graffiti" presentation and an additional outreach presentation was held at the Newhall Community Center on Wednesday, July 15.
    The Task Force is committed to timely graffiti eradication. When vandalism is reported at the City's Skate Park for example, the facility is shut down and closed to the public until the graffiti is removed. This sends the message to local youth and taggers that vandalism will not be tolerated and encourages skate park users to both stop and report taggers to avoid having the Skate Park closed for graffiti removal.
    In addition to current efforts, there is still more to come from the City's Graffiti Task Force in 2009. A Paint Matching Trailer, will allow for faster and more efficient graffiti removal and a Paseo Patrol Program is also being assembled, where volunteers will assist in removing graffiti on Paseos with graffiti wipes.
    For more information on the City's Graffiti Removal Task Force or to volunteer for the "Paseo Patrol", contact Nicolas Marinelli, Graffiti Removal Coordinator, at (661) 250-3735 or visit santa-clarita.com.
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