Corpus Christi Police Department is gearing up for the summer and, unfortunately, more graffiti.
Members of the Corpus Christi Police Department's Graffiti Task Force say they're seeing more and more graffiti on traffic signs and abandoned buildings.
They plan on cracking down on offenders and the city will clean up the mess as soon as possible.
The Police Department, this summer, is also getting tougher on home and business owners who don't clean up graffiti.
I left the following at the news site's comment section in response:
How can this be? I thought all those long sentences for graff must have completely eliminated graffiti in Corpus by now? The kids aren't getting a slap on the wrist - repeatedly CC taggers get felony charges, because after all, isn't political grandstanding the solution to every problem?
It costs taxpayers $98,000 per year to send a youth to TYC for a felony graffiti charge (plus policing and court costs). That same $98K would go a LONG way toward rapid cleanup whenever graffiti is reported, which is a bigger deterrent (because the goal of graff is to be seen) than the threat of punishment.
Politicians' goal isn't to stop graffiti. It's to convince the public of their empathy and shared outrage to gain votes. That's why you get overhyped rhetoric and pretend solutions that punish property owners more than assisting them.
See related Grits posts:
- Mixed messages on graffiti in Nueces County: Will 8-year sentence solve anything?
- Gittin' tuff on graffiti spawns more of it in Corpus Christi
- Boosting penalties wrong approach on graffiti
- Graffiti solutions: A cost-benefit analysis
- Kids do less art in school, more in street, Lege reacts with hammer
- Toward a restorative graffiti policy