Tacoma offers tips to combat graffiti

The City of Tacoma and the Tacoma Police Department are encouraging property owners to reduce instances of graffiti by participating in community programs and heeding a few simple tips.

According to City of Tacoma officials, reports of graffiti citywide are on the rise — 471 reported incidents so far this year, compared to 280 reported incidents last year.

Graffiti can be an issue in any city and Tacoma is no exception,” said City of Tacoma code enforcement officer Keith Williams. “One of the problems is that anyone who is tagged with graffiti is a victim, yet the property owner still has to be the one to make sure it is covered up or removed.”

Williams points to City of Tacoma programs and partnerships that aim to help property owners clean up graffiti. Safe Streets, Community Services by Youth, and Tacoma Neighborhood Councils all offer assistance to property owners who need help to comply with the City of Tacoma’s anti-graffiti ordinance, which requires graffiti to be removed within 18 days of notification by the City of Tacoma.

Graffiti is a crime,” adds Tacoma Police Department Lt. Corey Darlington. “Citizens are encouraged to report the crime of graffiti, photograph it if possible and cover it up.”

Williams and Darlington offer property owners the following tips to prevent graffiti: move objects vandals can stand on away from walls; place motion-activated lights around properties to deter graffiti vandals; create barriers along walls using plants with thorns; and use a protective sealer or coating to protect brick or cement surfaces.

More information about graffiti removal and prevention resources are available online at cityoftacoma.org/graffiti.

A contractor removes graffiti from the side of a building in downtown Tacoma. (FILE PHOTOS BY TODD MATTHEWS)

A contractor removes graffiti from the side of a building in downtown Tacoma. (FILE PHOTOS BY TODD MATTHEWS)