Downtown Spokane tackles graffiti problem

SPOKANE, Wash. - 21254838

It happens quickly and frequently and causes thousands of dollars in damage for property owners. Now the Spokane Police Department has a full time officer dedicated to tackling Spokane's graffiti problem.

There are several different types of graffiti. The police department says about 10 percent is gang related the other kinds you can find on walls, specific designs or words refereed to as tags, people trying to get noticed. The police department is now stepping up their efforts trying to rid Spokane of graffiti.

Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub has called the problem with graffiti a quality of life issue and assigned a full time  officer to deal with graffiti issues. Previously graffiti control was a part time position.

"In order for us to make the enforcement piece successful we need to start making arrests of these vandals that are causing hundred of thousands of dollars in damage to our city," said new graffiti control officer Jennifer DeRuwe.

To do that police need business and property owners to report graffiti to crime check and if possible include a picture of the graffiti in the report. The police chief says this isn't only a problem in downtown Spokane but across the city.

There is a city ordinance that requires property owners to clean up their graffiti within 10 days. The police department wants them to know that they have people and volunteers here to help with that.