Further Steps in the War on Graffiti

Congratulations to Eric Wersching of Huntington Beach for his innovative ideas and determination to put an anti-graffiti program in place ("Young Graffiti Foe Sees Hot Line as Crusade Key," May 10). The 24-hour eradication program and anti-vandal posted signs with a hot line are a good start.

It absolutely amazes me that it took a 15-year-old freshman to take the lead over city officials to come up with an approved concept.

I have been patiently waiting for our politicians and lawmakers to come up with a take-charge, get-tough deterrent program. and start a grass-roots movement. However, in reality, I have lost all confidence in our public servants.

Given the seriousness of how our communities are being trashed by graffiti and rapidly spreading to other areas, I am offering the following recommendations to all community leadership, public and private:

1. Impose heavy fines on the prosecuted individuals, in addition to several weeks of graffiti cleanup or other community cleanup.

2. If the prosecuted individual lives at home and is unable to pay the fine, then the burden will fall on the parents.

3. Make the parents and the prosecuted individual attend a one-day course on parenting, social values, responsibilities and taking pride in your community. (Have you ever wondered what parents are thinking about when their teen-ager is not home at 3 a.m.? Gee, what are all those empty spray cans doing in the trash?)

4. Have designated speakers give talks to the high schools, show a videotape on how graffiti impacts a community and ask for student recommendations and involvement on forming a solution.

5. Form neighborhood watch groups to monitor vulnerable targets under police guidance. Using arrest records, keep statistics on what ethnic groups are responsible for the most damage and keep the pressure on their spokespersons to take action.

6. Have sports celebrities and role models do volunteer anti-graffiti TV spots and billboards.

RICK MATSON

Laguna Hills

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