Taggers are leaving their mark on property

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

Five property owners homes, including the home of City Commissioner James Lafferty were “tagged” last week, said Police Chief Daniel Lopez at Thursday night’s commission meeting.

Tagging, or graffiti, is usually marking property with spray paint. It is often the symbol used by a group of teens, or a sign of gang activity.

The tagging occurred near Washington Avenue on Second and Third streets, Lopez said.

Lafferty asked about the tagging, after Lopez had given his monthly report on the city’s Police Department.

The incidents highlight a perennial problem with vandals and some juvenile pranks that cost property owners time and money.

Recent police reports show that businesses and residences have been tagged and businesses, more than residences, have to put up with broken windows.

Lafferty asked if the graffiti should be cleaned up and or immediately painted over.

If it’s cleaned up, “Is it a new pad to write on?” Lafferty asked.

Lopez said it’s better to remove the markings as soon as possible. Otherwise, the next group may want put their tagging over the first set
A person’s property could become a battlefield, Lopez said.

Commissioner Robert Lumpkin asked about offering a reward for a conviction of vandals through Crime Stoppers.

There is no shortage of funds in Crime Stoppers for a reward, and a reward can be given for information leading to a conviction, Lopez said.
However, “We don’t really get a lot of calls to Crime Stoppers,” he said.

And of the many tips given to the department, the majority are not specific enough for officers to act on.

In the future, some community cleanup assistance could come from a prisoner work program through the Quay County Detention Center, Lopez said.

In a prisoner work program there always has to be monitoring and supervision and more detailed planning is needed, Lopez said.