DNS Anti-Graffiti Program
Have you Heard the Word?
Get ready to rip your anti-graffiti message on the radio!
Listen to 103.7 KISS-FM for contest details!
Graffiti in any language is WRONG!
The City of Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS) operates an Anti-Graffiti Hotline. Citizens can call an report locations of graffiti. DNS will try to contact the owner, advise them of any options and hopefully have the graffiti removed quickly. If the owner fails to comply an order will be issued. In some cases the City will do the work and assess the costs to the owner.
The most effective weapon against graffiti is the quick removal of it. The longer it is up, the greater the chances of its return.
Call the City of Milwaukee Anti-Graffiti hotline at 414-286-8715 to report graffiti. If you see someone in the act of graffiti vandalism, call the police at 911. If you are the owner of the property and have graffiti, you should report it to the police captain of that district.
Citizens can now leave a complaint about a graffiti problem on a new E-mail address. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org please provide as much information as possible especially address and location.
The establishment of the Anti-Graffiti Program in 1993 was triggered by a growing presence of graffiti vandalism. Residents and policy makers alike recognized that if this problem was ignored, it had the potential to destroy neighborhoods by driving property values down and residents and jobs out. To address this quality of life issue, the Mayor, Common Council, Department of Neighborhood Services, Department of Public Works, and the Milwaukee Police Department have implemented a zero tolerance plan involving eradication, education, enforcement, and restitution.
Anti-Graffiti Policy Committee
This is a televised standing committee of the Common Council. It meets at the call of the chair and has been doing so at roughly two-month intervals. City Staff representatives report on agenda items related to graffiti related projects. Members of the public and other agencies regularly appear and testify. These members include but are not limited to: Milwaukee County Transit, US Postal Service, the District Attorney's Office, waste disposal companies and representatives of many business improvement districts.
Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS) Enforcement Process
The department receives complaints through referrals from many sources and calls received on the Graffiti Hotline. An advisory letter is sent to the owners of the property asking him/her to clean up the graffiti. If the owner does not comply with the advisory, the department issues an order to the owner. If the graffiti is not cleaned up in the required time, the department has the power to have the graffiti on the private property abated and place the charges for doing so on the owner's next tax bill.
Milwaukee Police Department (MPD)
The MPD monitors stores, which sell wide tipped markers and spray paint to see if they are meeting the ordinance requirements for storage and sales. MPD has developed a process for the Business Associations to report graffiti hits on private property in their areas.
Department of Public Works
DPW is responsible for removing graffiti from public structures. They have a team, truck and a soda blaster to use for graffiti removal.
The department has an anti-graffiti brochure. DNS staff members work with businesses, talk to surrounding communities and city community groups to discuss trends and problems. DNS give presentations to attendees at the Landlord Training sessions. Visitors from Sweden, Canada, and Illinois have come to Milwaukee to learn about our program.
DNS has a working relationship with approximately 12 business associations in the City. They have signed agreements, which reimburse them 50% of their abatement costs up to a maximum of $5,000. The association members meet on a regular basis with DNS staff. Many of the business organizations also abate graffiti on public property (light poles, benches, planters, etc.) with their own funds.
Graffiti on railroad property is a major problem. Recently, DNS staff members have identified contacts with the Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads (two of four major railroads that own property within the City limits) and are working with them to identify and abate graffiti on their structures. Staff has invited the railroad representatives to attend both the monthly staff meetings and the Anti-Graffiti Policy Committee meetings.
Private waste collector containers are an area of concern. Department efforts were diminished considering all the time and effort put into abatement on the building while the waste container graffiti stood out. DNS sponsored an ordinance change which requires the waste management companies to have a plan for abatement and also sets fines if abatement efforts are not taken.
Anti-Graffiti Kick-off Highlights
1999 Anti-graffiti Program Kick Off
Need help getting rid of graffiti? Here's our brochure listing the latest tips and tricks.
How to Remove Graffiti Brochure.pdf (Legal Size Paper Required)
NEW->How to Remove Graffiti Brochure.pdf (Spanish) Legal Size Paper Required)
Want to call someone about graffiti on their business, billboard or utility building? Get the telephone response guide brochure.
Telephone Response Guide Brochure.pdf
NEW->Telephone Response Guide Brochure.pdf (Spanish)
Last update 11/18/09