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It's Time to Take a Tough Stand on Graffiti Vandals in L.A., Councilman Says

The municipal code currently calls for an administrative fine of $250 for a first graffiti offense, $500 for the second and $1,000 for the third. State law calls for a range of penalties, including jail time.

File photo/Steve Fetbrandt
File photo/Steve Fetbrandt

City Councilman Paul Krekorian said Tuesday it's time to take a tougher stand against graffiti vandals in Los Angeles.

A motion introduced by Krekorian seeks harsher penalties against taggers and would also double the reward from $1,000 to $2,000 for those who provide information that leads to the arrest and conviction of vandals who deface murals.

"These are vandals who are ruining our neighborhoods. They are vandals and they should be arrested," Krekorian told Video News West before this morning's council meeting got underway.

The Los Angeles Office of Community Beautification spends $7.7 million a year on removing graffiti.

"It really is something that hits every taxpayer in the city right in the pocket," Krekorian said.

Under the councilman's motion -- introduced Friday and assigned to the Public Safety Committee -- the City Attorney's Office would be tasked with offering up options on stricter penalties for graffiti vandals who are arrested.

The municipal code currently calls for an administrative fine of $250 for a first graffiti offense, $500 for the second and $1,000 for the third. State law calls for a range of penalties, including jail time.

"This is blight that really causes a degradation of our quality of life, and I think we've seen that where we allow graffiti to fester, additional crime follows," Krekorian said.

Murals are often targeted because the removal of the vandalism is much more difficult than repainting a blank wall.

"It really takes restoration," he said.

Krekorian's district includes Studio City and North Hollywood.

—City News Service

Fernando lopez June 13, 2014 at 07:17 PM
My cousin works for the city parks, I'm not bashing you personally but I know how it works. In reality no one gives a shit. I'm a union electrician. I do what I can. Some donated a greatscore board to the local park. And wwhen it broke down I volunteered to fix it. Free. Because the city won't pay for it. Think about the city allowthe parks go to shit but you expect others in this case kids to take of it. I agree with your wages your making and you can provide for your family the way you can, but the city needs to dropthe money where it matters. Like local parks, fix the gyms, the horse shoes weight rooms, mentors,etc. Not dropping millions of dollars at the l.a. river. News flash all the local kids have always played in the river regardless. Not all those kids tagging are bad hearted but misguided.
nonoise June 13, 2014 at 08:19 PM
It is not millions of dollars, it is BILLIONS!! The money is better spent on other things and NOT the LA River.
Fernando lopez June 13, 2014 at 08:37 PM
Yeah, they rather spend it on bike lanes. Pretty soon eagle rock, silver lake and echo park will be one huge bike lane.
preemero June 14, 2014 at 04:50 PM
Oh yea the traffic alleviating bike lanes. Since I work all over LA city I noticed bike lanes are all over the city. Its funny that the city had neighborhood meetings to see if the input is positive. I know for a fact the bike lanes were coming no matter what. Those lanes are a federal mandate just like carpool lanes. If the city doesn't install bike lanes they forfeit billions in transportation funding from the federal govt. I worked at street services before rec & parks and the city has to meet requirements from the fed to get funding for street repairs That was part of the previous mayors campaign promise to fill a million pot holes. You are spot on about me not liking the fact that I have to paint over and clean graffiti, After doing it for 8 years now. cause the last crew that was doing it couldn't keep up with the work load. Now our shop only has half as many guys in it cause the early retirement that the city gave out a few years ago has caused everyone to work more for less money. Its caused lots of disgruntled workers. And lots of older workers are starting to get hurt more often. The city I believe is setting up current employees to fail so they can contract out our duties to private contractors. I don't know if its a good thing or not but it might be beneficial to the parks and citizens only time will tell. Also another way to get results if you see wrong doing by city employees is contact the media, I know channel 2 and the daily news love following us around trying to catch us cheating tax payers out of $. Lately we have had several meetings telling us to not to do long lunch breaks or sleeping on the job or getting drunk. But there are always some dummies that don't get it and keep doing wrong.
Ren June 16, 2014 at 01:17 AM
The city needs to invest in anti graffiti paint. Paint once and be done with it.

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