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Graffiti: Rearing its Ugly Head

Ald. Donovan has been an active and vigilant anti-graffiti advocate for many years, and he's often frustrated by the reckless and thoughtless damage that graffiti vandals cause on property in the 8th District and throughout the city.

"Graffiti vandalism seems to come and go in cycles, but when it does happen it is truly galling and despicable," said Ald. Donovan. "The sheer arrogance and uncaring recklessness of graffiti criminals deserves tough penalties from the criminal justice system and vigilance on the part of property owners."

Excellent police work by MPD officers recently resulted in the arrests of 10 people believed responsible for defacing hundreds of properties in Milwaukee, causing approximately $50,000 in damage. But, police continue to rely on residents for their assistance in pursuing graffiti suspects and related cases, Ald. Donovan said.

Property owners and neighborhoods should react quickly to incidents of graffiti vandalism, Ald. Donovan said. "The most effective weapon against graffiti is the quick removal of it, and painting over graffiti or removing it within 24 hours is highly encouraged," he said.

"The longer graffiti goes unabated on a wall, fence, dumpster or light pole, the more likely that area will see more graffiti and additional criminal activities," he said.

Anti-Graffiti Hotline
The City of Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS) operates an Anti-Graffiti Hotline. Citizens can call and 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.

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 non-emergency number of 933-4444. If you are an owner occupant of a property that has been hit by graffiti but you are disabled and/or elderly and cannot remove it yourself, please call the Milwaukee Christian Center at 645-5350.

Photo 1) During a recent neighborhood walk-through, Ald. Donovan documented graffiti on a garage door in an alley near S. 32nd and W. Rogers St. Accompanying the alderman were 6th District Community Liaison Officer Jesus Gloria (left), DPW Sanitation Inspector Dennis Murawski (middle) and (not pictured) representatives of the Department of Neighborhood Services and the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department.
Photo 2) Dave T. (not his real name) paints over graffiti on a garage in an alley near S. 34th and W. Becher St. Dave is a volunteer who helps seniors and people with disabilities remove graffiti vandalism from their properties. To find out if Dave can help you remove graffiti, please call Ald. Donovan at 286-3533.
 Now Online!
Citizens can now leave a complaint about a graffiti problem on a new E-mail address. Contact please provide as much information as possible especially address, location of graffiti, type of graffiti (spray paint, black marker) and date first noticed.