CREATED Aug 18, 2012
Reporter: Kevin Keen
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Graffiti: a seemingly eternal source of frustration for police, businesses and neighborhoods in Tucson. You can paint over it, but vandals will return to redo their dirty work. One south side neighborhood has had some success reducing their frequency. Their secret: rolling up their sleeves and rolling on the paint every weekend.
Every Saturday morning members and supporters of the Midvale Park Neighborhood Association clean up graffiti and litter at parks and washes.
This Saturday, for the first time in a month, volunteers are giving Santa Cruz River Park a fresh coat.
KGUN9 News reporter Kevin Keen asked association president Joseph Miller, “When you come back four weeks later and there's some more litter on the ground, there's a new tag on the wall, what goes through your mind?” “At first, you get really agitated,” Miller answered. “But the thing is when you string these together, you notice that there's less graffiti, there's (fewer) tags.”
Miller said since they started the clean-up events a year and a half ago, there's over all less trash to pick up and less graffiti to paint over.
“Taggers hate when you clean it up,” Miller explained. “Little by little, they leave. We've adopted specific areas. In those specific areas, taggers just don't want to be there anymore because their tags are gone. They know within a week they’ll be gone.”
“Have you noticed that?” Keen asked young volunteer Citlali Montoya Mendoza. “Yes,” she answered and other volunteers agreed. “At the park where there's a skate rink, there's barely any graffiti now because we clean it. We clean it and then they're noticing, 'Maybe we should stop.'”
The neighborhood association, which Miller said represents about 5,000 households, is always looking for more volunteers. Visit its Web site for more information.