In recent months the City of Bayonne, New Jersey has been hit by a rash of graffiti, on homes, buildings, fences, businesses and yes -even on one of our vans.
According to Police Chief Robert Kubert, there is a competition on the streets between groups of young vandals over who can produce the most graffiti.
|Bayonne City Departments Coordinate Response to Graffiti|
Mayor Terrence Malloy announced that several municipal departments and agencies are coordinating the City of Bayonne’s response to graffiti. Representatives of the Departments of Health, Police, and Public Works have been meeting with representatives of the Office of the Mayor and the Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority to develop new means to combat the problem.
According to Police Chief Robert Kubert, there is a competition on the streets between groups of young vandals over who can produce the most graffiti. To counter the vandals, Kubert urged property owners to report graffiti immediately to the Police Department, and to request the Department of Public Works to send its graffiti removal crew to eliminate the graffiti. Public Works employees will remove graffiti from unpainted cement, brick, brickface or marble surfaces. They will not remove graffiti from painted surfaces, vinyl siding, wood surfaces or any surface that indicates loose brick, mortar or any sign of material weakness. There will be no charge for the removal of graffiti, providing the owner of the property signs a release and indemnification agreement, approved by the City Law Department, releasing the City of Bayonne from any and all liability. Please call 201-858-6070 for graffiti removal.Kubert believes that the quick removal of graffiti will discourage the vandals. He asks anyone with information regarding graffiti crimes and other acts of vandalism in Bayonne to call the department at 201-858-6900. People who see acts of vandalism in progress should call this main police phone number at once. Anyone who wishes to provide a tip or lead in confidence may call the Bayonne Police Tipline at 1-877-900-TIPS (8477).The Department of Public Works has a graffiti task force that consists of one supervisor and three workers. The task force has been assigned to clean up graffiti or to paint over it, depending on the situation. From January to August 2008, Public Works issued 223 work orders that removed graffiti from 274 locations. By August 1, the Public Works Department expended $3,382 in this calendar year for graffiti removal products. Also by August 1, graffiti removal work covered 334 Public Works man hours at a cost of $6,295. Public Works is looking into purchasing new graffiti removal equipment that would increase the productivity of its crews.
The Health Department is working with the Municipal Utilities Authority to obtain phone numbers for owners of graffiti-vandalized property. Instead of waiting for owners to consider asking for graffiti removal, the Health Department will start telephoning the owners to offer them the City’s graffiti removal services.At the town meeting on September 17, Chief Kubert said that the Police Department has been trying to enforce the ordinance that prohibits the sale of spray paint to minors, since that product is the main tool of graffiti vandals. Under the terms of the ordinance, spray paint must be secured in stores or sold from behind the counter only, so that juveniles are unable to get easy access to the product. Members of the Bayonne Police Explorers, a Boy Scout affiliate, conduct periodic undercover operations in which minors attempt to buy spray paint at Bayonne stores. According to Kubert, during a recent outing by the Explorers, three stores failed the test buys. As a result, the stores received summonses for selling spray paint to minors.Mayor Malloy concluded, “The graffiti problem has several aspects to it, so all of the municipal departments and agencies must work together to solve the problem. I would like to ask all property owners to take the responsibility to maintain their buildings. People must also be responsible about reporting graffiti and taking steps to have it removed rapidly. The Bayonne departments and agencies will continue working together to attack graffiti vandalism.