East County News Service
October 22, 2010 (San Diego) -- A proposal to implement a high-tech Graffiti Tracker Program was recently approved by The Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee. The Grafitti Tracker Program is a comprehensive, web-based system designed to identify, track, prosecute, and seek restitution from graffiti vandals.
This program also creates a partnership between the City and County of San Diego. Graffiti Tracker uses GPS (Global Positioning System) enabled cameras to pinpoint exact locations of graffiti and the resulting information is shared among all law enforcement agencies in the County. This will result in increases of efficiency of tracking graffiti.
“This system will not only help defray the cost of graffiti clean-up, it also discourages tagging,” said Marti Emerald, City Councilmember and chair of the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee. ”Graffiti vandals often sign their work and Graffiti Tracker makes it easier for law enforcement agencies to identify them, the territory in which they operate, and if they work with other identified taggers.”
According to Emerald, with this program’s implementation, the City can expect annual savings through increasing efficiencies. These will include a reduction in staff time required to report and remove graffiti and a decrease of the time required to conduct investigations. In addition, potential collection of graffiti-related restitution could top $100,000 annually. .
Funding for the18-month trial program will come from the San Diego Redevelopment Agency and is scheduled to begin January 1, 2011.