04/04 2014

Mayor Peduto Reinstates Graffiti Task Force

From Mayor Peduto's Office:
PITTSBURGH, PA – Mayor William Peduto announced today he has directed the Pittsburgh Police Bureau to reinstitute its Graffiti Task Force.
The task force will work in tandem with Graffiti Busters crews within the Department of Public Works to report and investigate graffiti vandalism, and clean it from public property.
The task force was highly effective from its inception in 2006 to its disbanding last year. It had a 100% conviction rate for graffiti/criminal mischief arrests, and assisted police zone officers and outside police jurisdictions with their graffiti investigations and prosecutions.
“The Graffiti Task Force is a critical component of our public safety and quality of life,” Mayor Peduto said. “It is part of of the broken window theory: If you let the graffiti stand then eventually you're going to find more litter. Once the litter and graffiti are there, you see the crime.”
Two police officers will be detailed to the task force on Monday working under Commander Linda Rosato-Barone of the Narcotics & Vice unit, and a third officer may join the task force later.
Graffiti Busters does most of its work in warm weather months when its pressure washers are most effective. The Public Works crew responds to 311 complaints about graffiti, watches over heavily traveled City thoroughfares, and takes assignments from DPW supervisors who notice graffiti in neighborhoods.