It's Saturday, October 6, 2007 and in the Pacific Northwest I think autumn has settled in. It's a dark, dreary rainy morning and it's 8:00 a.m.
What did I do that's so intriguing -- joined forces with the Snohomish County Graffiti Paint-Out Day. Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon said "A clean community is a safe community. That's why we are working with you to eliminate graffiti and create an environment where crime doesn't breed."
Our local Snohomish County Camano Association of Realtors® joined forces with the County employees, the local Boy Scout Troops, the Rotary Club and several local mayors to help stamp out graffiti in our County. Our association donated "Graffiti Paint-Out" Tee Shirts, local merchants donated paint, supplies, coffee and treats for the workers. As Realtors® we care about our communities.
Graffiti can negatively impact retail sales, decrease property values, and elevate fear. A business littered with graffiti is less likely to be patronized. Citizens feel less safe and secure entering a storefront where graffiti exists.
The cost of graffiti clean-up across the U. S. is estimated to cost the taxpayers $12 billion per year. The presence of graffiti is perceived as a sign that a downward spiral has begun, even though this may not necessarily be true. Graffiti can boost gang activity.
Rapid and continuous removal of graffiti is the best way to protect the image of the neighborhood and preserve customers feeling of security. Studies show that removal within 24-48 hours results in a nearly zero rate of reoccurrence.
The County is encouraging communities, businesses and all individuals to take control of graffiti in our neighborhoods. *Tips on what you should do when you are hit with graffiti.....
Report - Contact the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office at 9-1-1(necessary to get a report filed) to report graffiti vandalsim. An incident number may be necessary for an insurance claim.
Identify - Work with the local authorities to identify if the graffiti is being done by taggers or gangs.
Document - Take a photo of the graffiti before it is removed. Photos may assist law enforcement in their investigation.
Remove - Remove graffiti promptly and completely by painting, power washing or with the use of chemicals.
*Compliments of the Snohomish County Code Enforcement
Be proactive in your community - take charge!