Posted on October 17, 2012 at 5:44 PM
Thursday, Oct 18 at 11:04 AM
SAN ANTONIO – Janie Salazar brushes through the product she has placed in her client’s hair at “A Touch of Rose Beauty Salon.”
Salazar wishes to keep the color inside her salon…not on the walls of her business.
“There’s always graffiti, either red, white, black, you know, all over the walls here and there,” said Salazar.
She said her salon is hit every month by taggers. They scribble on the building, on trash bins, even on her glass door.
“They hit the whole strip mall,” she said.
For years, the city has focused on clean-up, or abatement of graffiti. Now, San Antonio City Councilman Cris Medina is calling on city hall to take out the tagging before the paint dries.
Medina said, “If you start doing graffiti at a young age, it can lead to other crimes.”
So, Medina wants anti-graffiti programs taught in schools, extra police officers concentrating on the crime, mandatory jail sentences, and community and church involvement to make it all happen.
Medina’s council request form was submitted early this month. He is requesting various city departments give input on how to aggressively tackle the issue beyond the typical abatement programs and ordinance enforcements.
“If we have to look at stiffer penalties or more community service hours, whatever it takes for us to be more proactive about the approach,” Medina said.
San Antonio police have hidden cameras that in the last two years have led to about a hundred arrests.
Meantime, city workers paint over the equivalent of 77-football fields a year -- at a cost of over a million dollars to taxpayers.
Medina said that’s just cleaning city property--individuals spend their hard-earned cash, too.
“I had to change my signs several months ago because it was written up. That cost me money, out of my pocket,” said Salazar.
Salazar said her landlord just got finished giving the building another paint-job. It’s become routine: a chore, to keep taggers out and customers coming in.
Salazar added, “The customers say ‘Oh, my God, they did it again. How terrible!’”
Want to help wipe out graffiti in the Alamo City? The City of San Antonio has developed a free smart phone app that lets you snap a photo, attach it to a GPS location and send it to the appropriate department. Download the mySanAntonioTX app at the iTunes store, or click here to download to android phones. To find out more about the Graffiti Abatement Program, contact the Code Enforcement Division at 210-207-5430.