By WR Jones
On our Sunday walk of 7 or 8 miles, we have a stretch of river that passes behind an apartment complex. There is a bridge over the river just after the apartments. Every week there is new graffiti. Every week I say the same thing to my wife – “why the hell don’t they put up cameras, and motion activated lights?”
Instead they fight a losing battle of painting it over. Last week I saw they gave up even trying to match the paint color of the building. The city paints over the mess on the bridge and they do a pretty fair job but they too can’t keep up. These young taggers have more energy than old Juan and Carlos (who’s lives have been threatened) who paint over the apartment.
One Sunday we saw a boy of about 10 or 12 tagging the bridge. I borrowed a phone from another couple walking by us and called the police. I told the dispatcher a boy was tagging near the bridge over the river to the park. He asked if I could give him a street name. Huh? You work for the city and do not know where the park is? I ask him (the dispatcher) where the hell was he answering the phone from? He was in a rather distant city – OK, screw it, I’m glad I wasn’t being stabbed.
SOLUTIONS FIT FOR A KING:
1. Humane – put up portable cameras on highly tagged areas. Man the cameras and send the police. You can fine – most probably the family – enough to pay for the cameras and personel. When tagging drops way off you can shut down the operation until it gets bad again. After you take everything a family has including the shirts off their backs, mom and dad may pay a little more attention to what junior is up to.
2. My answer – License snipers and pay a bounty for taggers. The snipers would have to be highly trained for safety. This could, for example, be good offduty income for members of SWAT. The sniper would have to film the entire sequence leading upto and including the shooting. If he/she makes a mistake and shoots some innocent kid, he/she will face prosecution, unless the kid is really ugly.
Note: We found two spray cans of paint in the bushes by the high school last Sunday. We picked them up to throw in the trash. I accidentally pressed the button on one of them; the Devil took my hand, spraying my initials on that wall, and the side of that 18 wheeler, the train, the new restaurant, and the neighbors house. There IS a thrill seeing your work up like that. More people will see that painting in a day than come to the blog in 2 or 3 generations.