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ANAHEIM : 5-Year Program Credited With Decline in Graffiti

Although graffiti continues to be a problem, especially when schoolchildren are on summer vacation, city officials report that incidents of “tagging” are on the decline.

“It is going down, even though we do paint out a lot every day,” Code Enforcement Manager John W. Poole said Tuesday. “You don’t see the big areas of graffiti like you used to. It’s more the small tags, like on utility boxes.”

Poole credits the reduction in vandalism to a five-year program that combines anti-graffiti education in local schools with a series of “paint-outs” conducted by city employees, residents, local businesses and civic groups.

Also drafted for the paint-outs are numerous convicted taggers, who are now performing court-ordered community service, Poole said.

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“Most people hate to see graffiti,” said Poole, who noted the anti-graffiti program has received a very positive response in the community.

Volunteers who want to become involved in paint-outs can pick up free supplies at Anaheim City Hall. Materials have been donated by local companies and service groups.

Organized paint-outs are scheduled for 8:15 to 11:30 a.m. on the following Saturdays: Sept. 2, 16 and 30, Oct. 14 and 28, Nov. 4 and 18 and Dec. 9.

For more information on the anti-graffiti program, call the city at (714) 254-4443. The hot line for reporting graffiti is (714) 254-5200.

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