Since January of this year, the City’s trail division has spent nearly $180,000 on fixing, repairing and cleaning up vandalism and graffiti made to the City’s parks and trails. Enough is enough! The City’s risk management office spent a day in court last week, arguing that a recently-caught vandal should be made to pay full restitution for their crimes, and the judge agreed.
A minor and his parents must now pay $5,000 for damage the minor caused to a City trail fence, a decision the City is hoping becomes a regular occurrence.
“The City is spending thousands of dollars repairing public property that is damaged through graffiti and similar vandalism. We applaud the judge who helped send a message to vandals that they need to pay for the damage they cause,” explains Ken Pulskamp, City Manager for the City of Santa Clarita.
Just in 2006 and just for the trails division, a total of $180,000 was spent to repair and clean damage caused by vandals. That includes $13,000 for safety and clean up; $12,000 for damage to landscaping; $117,000 for graffiti and $31,000 for property damage. Other City departments also spend money repairing damage and cleaning up graffiti, a number the City says has grown dramatically over the last few years.
The City has added substantially more resources to the anti-graffiti program, including a full time staffer, equipment, including a truck, pressure washer, and a surveillance van to help catch graffiti vandals. Since January, 2006, the Sheriffs department has made 174 arrests for graffiti and vandalism. To report graffiti, please call the graffiti hotline at (661) 25-CLEAN (252-5326) or report graffiti online via the City’s eService request program at www.santa-clarita.com.