PAINTING THE TOWN: ARCATA POLICE, VOLUNTEERS COMBAT GRAFFITI
Arcata Police are taking steps to combat graffiti in the city. They’re targeting problem areas and painting over the damage themselves, and have enlisted some volunteers that are helping get the work done.
"I was with the police department back in the 60’s,” says Paul Wilson, “Means I’m old! I just always liked law enforcement."
He’s helping the Arcata police department paint over graffiti at this house on 12th and “I” Streets.
“I think it’s an easy target- it’s a vacant house," says Lieutenant Ryan Peterson, he’s organizing the police department’s fight against graffiti vandalism.
“This is just one of many examples that we've done this in Arcata with the overall mission of eliminating the issue of graffiti inside the city limits of Arcata."
The department is working with owners of private property, like the 12th and I house because Peterson says those tend to be the problem spots. He says working with volunteers to get the jobs done is what will stop repeat graffiti offenders.
“If we can stay on top of it it will discourage those who do that," Peterson said.
Wilson adds, "If we go in and paint something they seem to stay away from it."
“It’s difficult to be out there everywhere and try to catch people usually at night doing this sort of thing," Peterson agreed. He says they won’t paint the whole house- but they will cover the problems to reduce the blight to the community and hopefully prevent it from happening again.
Something Paul Wilson says he’ll continue to help with until the graffiti’s gone.
"I want to keep doing it until I can't walk anymore,” Wilson says, “Then I'll get a wheelchair and keep going!”
Arcata police say they want you to call them at 822-2428 them if you see graffiti in progress. They also have a graffiti hotline if you want to become a volunteer.