Comprehensive Measures

Comprehensive Measures to Combat Graffiti Vandalism

August 2018 – Tulsa, Oklahoma – Tulsa City Council Continues Fight After Graffiti Ordinance is Vetoed

In mid-July 2018, the Tulsa City Council passed a graffiti ordinance that prohibited the sale of spray paint to minors under the age of 18, as well as imposed fines on anyone who violated the ordinance. However, that ordinance was vetoed by Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum who said he had concerns about the penalties and the burdens it would have imposed on retail stores. Despite the setback, the council hopes to fight taggers in other ways. This includes utilizing a computer program called Graffiti Tracker that can be used to analyze graffiti and track down the vandals, as well as promoting street art installations throughout that city that discourage tagging while adding to the city’s vitality.

Source: Tulsa News

July 2017 – Portland, Oregon – Portland to Fight Rampant Graffiti with New $600,000 Budget

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has budgeted $600,000 for the city to use to combat its chronic graffiti problem. Among the graffiti removal services that will be available to Portland residents are both a call-in hotline and a contracted company to grid out sections of the city to clean up vandalism the same day it goes up. The city estimates that 1.2 million more square feet of graffiti will be removed every year than before. The City of Portland and its residents hope that these comprehensive measures will help combat graffiti vandalism and provide the most effective way to handle graffiti cleanup.

Source: KGW Portland News

June 2017 – Scranton, Pennsylvania – Scranton City Officials Brainstorm Anti-Graffiti Strategies

As a result of a recent uptick in graffiti throughout the city, Scranton City Council, city department heads, legislative representatives, and other neighborhood leaders met in early June to brainstorm ideas to combat graffiti vandalism in Scranton. Several ideas were floated by various city officials, including updating the city’s graffiti ordinance, creating “graffiti zones” where public art is allowed, investing in graffiti-removing equipment, implementing fines, and enlisting volunteers to help remove tags throughout the city. The City Council will continue to consider each of these options and has agreed to meet again with various city officials to map out the best anti-graffiti strategy for the city. This initial brainstorming session hoped to give Scranton a renewed sense of focus on bringing the problem of graffiti to the forefront so that the community can keep it at bay. These types of ongoing public discussions can be effective tools for cities in combating graffiti vandalism.

Source: The Scranton Times-Tribune

April 2017 – Chicago, Illinois – Chicago Stepping Up Its Game, Turning the Corner in War on Graffiti

The City of Chicago is adding more resources to its graffiti removal efforts. The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) will have three new graffiti removal crews and eight new chemical removal trucks, which the city is hoping will help curb its never-ending battle against graffiti vandalism. When this fleet upgrade is completed and old vehicles are retired, the city will have 22 graffiti removal trucks (5 more than before). DSS and city officials are confident that these additions will keep response times to three to five days with no backlog. These statistics could help slowdown and deter graffiti vandalism. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the city has already completed 31,881 removal requests this year, which is down from 36,813 removals during the same period a year ago. Chicago seems to be turning the corner in its war on graffiti, and stepping up its game with these new additions will surely not slow it down.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

January 28, 2016—Phoenix, Arizona, Phoenix Declares February Graffiti Free Awareness Month

Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix signed a proclamation declaring February Graffiti Free Phoenix Awareness Month. This is the second year of this declaration. During February, the Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department (NSD) will promote Graffiti Free Phoenix program, which encourages residents across the community to join the city in the effort to keep Phoenix graffiti free. NSD will provide free paint and supplies to any group organizing a community clean up to clean graffiti in Phoenix. Additionally, through the year, NSD provides Neighborhood College workshops that teach Phoenix residents and business owners to use a paint sprayer or pressure washer to remove graffiti. Workshops can be viewed online at

Source: City of Phoenix

September 15, 2015-- Lynwood, Washington, Anti-Graffiti Campaign Effective

The City of Lynwood, WA has launched an aggressive campaign against graffiti that is working. The police department dedicates a division within the police department’s new Community Health and Services unit to combat graffiti. In this program, six citizen patrol volunteers work specifically on graffiti, and all the paints and supplies are donated by a local business. Lynnwood police said most of the city’s most heavily vandalized spots have been cleaned up and are staying clean, and the hardest-hit neighborhoods are grateful.


October 15, 2014—Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada), Anti-Graffiti Conference (TAGS)

An anti-graffiti conference was held in Halifax, Nova Scotia the week of October 13th, bringing together more than 100 city officials, businesses, law enforcement, and other community members concerned with graffiti vandalism. At the conference, participants discussed the problems they face in battling graffiti vandalism including expensive clean-up projects. They also discussed solutions, including art or mural programs.

Source: CBC News Nova Scotia

April 2014—Reno, NV, Graffiti Task Force Report

In April 2014, the Reno Anti-Graffiti Task Force submitted a report to the Reno City Council and City Manager detailing its recommendations to mitigate graffiti in the city. This report was approved by the Council on April 16. While Reno already has strong graffiti laws in place, the report focuses on a new, three-prong approach to address graffiti vandalism: education, eradication, and enforcement.

Source: Reno City Council

December 2013—Yuma, AZ, TAGS Program

The City of Yuma, Arizona launched its TAGS program (The Anti-Graffiti Strategy) in 2010 and is seeing the number of graffiti cases drop significantly, and the number of abatement cases have been cut by more than half. This comprehensive program includes “more abatement resources, fast-as-possible removal of graffiti, aggressive enforcement, successful prosecution of offenders, increased community awareness and improved tracking of the problem.”


December 12, 2013—New Bedford, MA, Graffiti Free NB  

The City of New Bedford, Massachusetts announced its comprehensive approach to address graffiti vandalism, “Graffiti Free NB.” The plan includes options for concerned citizens to report graffiti (phone app, hotline and website), a reward program, and the purchase of an EcoQuip machine to remove graffiti.


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