Be a part of the graffiti solution

By Peggy Williamson

Cooper-Young businessman Frank Roberts, owner of The Palladio Group, and the Union Station Police Precinct led by Colonel Lori Bullard deserve our heartfelt thanks for their collaborative efforts in addressing the persistent graffiti problem in Midtown. As a result of Frank’s leadership, a meeting of interested Midtowners was held at the Union Station precinct to talk about how to eradicate graffiti from Midtown. In addition, at our June Midtown Security Community meeting we heard from a Union Station officer who specializes in gang activity. He showed pictures of gang graffiti and pictures of tagging and taught us to recognize the differences.

For the most part we are dealing with tagging in Midtown. Young artists show their spray can savvy by decorating everything from railroad cars to sides of buildings to memorials in Overton Park. It is not hard to find their work in Midtown. Through this recent meeting of concerned individuals and Union Station we have established a strong communication link with the tagging community to let them know we do not want this type of artistic endeavor going on in Midtown.
When you see graffiti in Midtown you are asked to take a picture of it and forward it to an email account that we are in the process of setting up. That picture will be shared with Union Station police and with our link to the tagging community. This contact has pledged to work with us to inform the tagging community that their work is not welcomed in Midtown and to get the taggers to remove their work.

Already we have seen positive results. Graffiti has been reported, our contact has passed along the specific sites to the taggers, and the work has been removed. This is not a quick process so we will have to measure success over time, but we are extremely grateful to Frank, to the Union Station precinct, and to the taggers who are responding positively to our request to stop tagging.

You can make a difference in this effort! Check our blog at midtownsecuritycommunity.org where we will post the email account for you to report graffiti sightings. In the meantime, take pictures of graffiti you see and date the pictures. Your efforts will contribute to an important overall upgrading of the aesthetic landscape of Midtown by just saying no to tagging.

The next Midtown Security Community meeting will be held Thursday, September 2, at 5:30pm. All are welcome. See our website, midtownsecuritycommunity.org, for more details. Peggy Williamson is the Midtown Security Community Chair.

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