The City of Atlanta is about to embark on a comprehensive graffiti eradication plan aimed at beautifying our communities, protecting both public and private property from vandalism and preserving owners’ right to properly maintain their properties.
Rampant graffiti is a “quality of life” issue that residents often complain about. Left unchecked, it is one of several blights in a community – such as illegal dumping, vacant homes and neglected properties – that allow crime to breed. It can send a signal to criminals that a community is uncaring, and unpoliced.
Caring communities do not tolerate these blights and work together, through public and private partnerships, to rid themselves of them.
The city has created the Graffiti Task Force, bringing together a number of city agencies and private partners, including the Office of Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta Police Department, Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Department of Public Works, Office of Solicitor General Raines Carter, Office of Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and Atlanta Public Schools.
Enforcement will be an important piece of this plan, but not the only one. The city recognizes that some outdoor artwork has merit, and is working to identify those legitimate artists and artistic expressions which are wanted in the surrounding community.
The city also recognizes that artistic expression is important, and is working to identify appropriate places where legitimate outdoor artwork may be allowed.
It must be noted, however, that the Atlanta Police Department will not tolerate vandals who deface public or private property. The APD will aggressively identify and apprehend graffiti artists and others who choose to vandalize private and/or public property.
Regardless of the merits of the artwork, painting over property that is not yours constitutes criminal damage to property, and the APD stands ready to take action against those who participate in such criminal acts.
Anyone who has questions or concerns about the enforcement aspects of this plan should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-546-2605.
Chief George N. Turner
Atlanta Police Department