Chico's Graffiti Battle

Aug 11, 2014 8:21 PM by Joe Moeller

Driving around Chico graffiti can easily be spotted. I spoke with people at one businesses who are doing what they can to keep tags off their property.

"They keep spray painting the side of the building, they spray paint the sidewalks the signs, they spray paint our awnings." Says Jim Beltrama, a manager at a local glass company. "Anything they can get a mark on they seem to be putting a mark on it."

"We see the best detour to them is to not give them satisfaction, so in the mornings and we get here and we see it, we get the rollers out, we get the paint out, and we try and cover up what they did."

He says fighting the taggers is costing the business time and money.

"It costs a lot of money when you are paying your guys out not only are you paying them to clean up the mistakes and to paint the building. You are also losing money because you don't have them out in the field doing the work. "

We went to Chico police to see why there might be an increase in the graffiti. They say funding to fight the battle has diminished.

"We used to have the target team and we also used to have a community service officer for community outreach." Says Chico Police Lt. David Brit.

Brit tells us the police department doesn't have resources like they used to for graffiti investigations.

"Those positions have been eliminated so we no longer have that active investigative component." Added Brit.

He says the bigger crimes in town keep the department busy.

"We have to prioritize now as to what we are responding to obviously graffiti calls would be on the lower end of the scale."

Brit says although they don't have the man power like they used to, they still take the crime very seriously.

According to the city graffiti should be reported to the graffiti hotline on the city of Chico's website. If you spot any in progress graffiti you are urged to call 911.


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