first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ“Our residents deserve to live in safe and peaceful communities, and we must all work together to stop the graffiti criminals and taggers who are defacing our neighborhood streets,” Molina said in a statement. Graffiti Tracker is a company that catalogs and compares incidents of graffiti. It uses cameras equipped with global positioning system technology. Photos of graffiti are taken by cleanup crews and can be uploaded to a Web site, where they are analyzed and categorized for reference. Graffiti Tracker can sort graffiti by the moniker or name of a gang or tagger. It is used by Pico Rivera, Montebello, Whittier, Santa Fe Springs, Alhambra and Downey. “This is the first time the Department of Public Works will be using the trackers with our contractor as a pilot project,” said Kathy Salama, a spokeswoman for the county Public Works Department. She said currently Graffiti Tracker is used on a limited basis by the Sheriff’s Department in Supervisor Don Knabe’s 4th District, which covers the majority of South Whittier. WHITTIER – As part of the county’s anti-graffiti efforts, scrawled vandalism in West Whittier and a section of South Whittier will be photographed, compiled in a database and analyzed. The county Board of Supervisors on Dec. 4 amended its contract with Superior Property Services in Pico Rivera so that the company can take photographs and send the information to Graffiti Tracker for analysis. The areas affected are West Whittier and the portion of South Whittier in Supervisor Gloria Molina’s 1st District. The $1,200-a-month cost will be shouldered by the supervisor’s office for six months. County public works officials expect the change should take effect this month. Sheriff’s Lt. John Voza said Graffiti Tracker has worked pretty well in Knabe’s South Whittier area. “The last time I checked we had about 60 arrests,” Voza said. He said deputies served search warrants and arrested 11 people who did damage in excess of $400 each. Voza said the tracker pegged this group to 669 tagging incidents from January to November that caused around $175,000 in damages. While the majority of the crew lives in West Whittier, he said a lot of the tagging was done in South Whittier. “Graffiti is always an issue. It’s a problem in cities,” said Capt. Mike Rothans of the sheriff’s Pico Rivera station, which patrols Pico Rivera and the county areas of West Whittier and South Whittier. Since September 2006 when Pico Rivera started using Graffiti Tracker, he said, 78 people have been arrested. Back then, he said, the city averaged 46 incidents a day. “Today we average 19 to 20,” Rothans said. But Rothans pointed out that contracting with Graffiti Tracker is just a part of anti-graffiti efforts. A new team dedicated to fighting graffiti will start the first week of January. Called the Vandalism Enforcement Team, it will be made up of a sergeant and four deputies and have a dedicated probation officer and deputy district attorney. Molina’s office said the team will launch as a pilot program from January through June in Pico Rivera and South Whittier, West Whittier and Los Nietos. “We wanted to look at a more regional approach. The idea of a team came up,” Rothans said. Molina said she is looking forward to seeing the results of the pilot program. “Our law enforcement agencies will be working hard to arrest and convict the graffiti vandals and there will be a zero tolerance policy – anyone caught doing graffiti will be convicted to the fullest extent of the law and we will hold minors’ parents accountable with steep fines, community service and parenting classes,” she said. two weeks ago [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more