Graffiti on the rise in Lancaster, you can help

LANCASTER — Graffiti vandalism is on the rise in Lancaster. There were 18,000 incidents of graffiti in the city in 2011; and this year, city crews have already removed more than 20,000 incidents of graffiti, officials said.

To directly address the negative impact of graffiti on Lancaster neighborhoods, the city council Tuesday approved a new Graffiti Abatement Volunteer Program.

“It’s a great opportunity for community residents, business owners, and groups to get involved in the community, volunteer to remove graffiti, and start taking over what is theirs,” said Public Works Coordinator Pat Murphy.

“Graffiti costs the citizens of Lancaster thousands of dollars each and every year,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Our new Graffiti Abatement Volunteer Program provides residents with the necessary tools and training to remove graffiti, and abate any further tagging in their neighborhoods.”

The program is open to residents, businesses, neighborhood watch groups, and other community organizations.

Those interested in participating in this volunteer effort should contact the Public Works Department through the graffiti hotline at 661-723-5977. Volunteers will be given an interest sheet to fill out and will be contacted for training, said Murphy.

“We show them how to use the various graffiti abatement products, how to properly paint over graffiti tags and how to use solvent materials to wipe off the graffiti,” Murphy said, adding that the training takes about 30 minutes.

Upon completion, volunteers receive graffiti removal supplies color matched to the location they have chosen to adopt, Murphy said.

“We provide them with a graffiti kit, which consists of paint, rollers and brushes, a paint pan, solvent wipes, safety gloves, and other supplies,” said Murphy. “We replenish the kit as they use it.”

The city has also launched a new Graffiti Reporting Hotline where residents can report graffiti for removal by calling 661-723-5977. Callers simply provide the location of the graffiti, and on what structure the graffiti can be found (i.e. wall, sign, building, etc.).

The sheriff’s department is also encouraging citizens to report graffiti in progress by calling 9-1-1.

“Give us an address or a specific location along with the taggers full physical description,” said Lancaster Sheriff’s Sergeant Theresa Dawson. “This can aid us greatly in apprehending taggers and lowering the cost to homeowners and to the city.”

For more information on how you or your group can participate in the Graffiti Abatement Volunteer Program, contact Pat Murphy at 661-723-6183 or

  11 comments for “Graffiti on the rise in Lancaster, you can help

  1. Alfred Cushman
    September 27, 2012 at 5:49 am

    Wow, still better than Watts or Stockton.

  2. mike
    September 26, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Whenever I see graffiti, I call the number provided by Lancaster city hall: 661-723-5985. I do not attempt to erase the tagger’s works. I recall that a lady was killed in the SFV when she got into it with a tagger. If u see a tagger, call the sheriff. If there is a deputy in the area, hopefully, the tagger can be jailed and realize the seriousness of his offense. Vandalism is a crime.

  3. Eris
    September 26, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Now the City now owns Cedar Center and is ruled by Parris, he should offer Graffiti Art Classes and group shows to those interested in this art medium. Calling this act against the “establishment” Abatement only encourages more of the same, as these accusations are exactly what the taggers want!

    Stupid is what stupid does.

  4. Javier
    September 25, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    My headline: Eye in the sky fails to catch simple minded taggers.

    • Turd Ferguson
      September 28, 2012 at 7:07 am

      “Eye in the Sky” is total waste of taxpayer dollars.$90,000.00 a month.Article in Antelope Valley Press says this:”While the plane has yet to make a signature mark on an instance of criminal activity in the city, authorities and city officials remain confident it will play an important role numerous times in the future.”What a crock.It is a joke.Waste of taxpayer dollars.$90,000.00 could put more boots on the ground.More sherriffs.We have good sherriffs.They need boots on the ground.They have heliocpter when they need it.Which is rare.They need more help on the ground.LEAPS is a money maker for powerbrokers.Taxpayers pay and get nothing.Use that money for boots on the ground.

  5. Letlow
    September 25, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Are we declaring a “War on Taggers” now? If so, good! Taggers have already invaded the exercise equipment at the new and improved El Dorado park on the 5th street east. By the time I got around to checking out the new exercise stations, I was shocked to see them all scrawled up. Hopefully they’ll be clean by the next time I go back.

  6. FUNNY
    September 25, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Don’t bother calling the Lancaster sheriff last time i called and i was following the tagger around my neighborhood for over a hour and this was at 8pm LASD showed up at 1 am the tagger was long gone ,I GUESS I SHOULD HAVE OFFERED THE TAGGER SOME COOKIES AND MILK

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