Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief is asking police to find new ways to crack down on graffiti, which he calls a growing eyesore that threatens the city’s image.
“They’re making our city their canvass,” Moncrief said Monday. “And that’s not acceptable.”
Fort Worth spent more than $500,000 last year to paint over 7,500 graffiti sites. That’s 20 per day.
Resident Michael Kopacz said he can’t count how many times taggers have sprayed his garage with graffiti.
It happened again Sunday night.
“It makes me angry that they would want to destroy somebody else’s property like that,” he said.
Neighbors spotted 5 teenagers in the act and called 911, but by the time police arrived, they were gone.
Mayor Moncrief said he’s noticed taggers are now painting things that used to be off limits, like street signs and even cars.
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"I'm seeing graffiti in places I haven't seen it before," he said.
He said the city is lobbying the state legislature for tougher penalties for graffiti.
"It is not their property,” Moncrief said. “That's what bugs me. It is not their right. And I'm not going to sit idly by and continue to let them do it."
He also said the police department was coming up with a new plan to combat graffiti. The city also is looking into making a video and putting it on YouTube.
Kopacz said he would cover up the graffiti on his garage yet again.
"I'm just going to have to paint it over and hope they put more patrols out here to start keeping up with it better,” he said.