City leaders talk about cracking down on graffiti

By: Marcie Kobriger Email
By: Marcie Kobriger Email

It's a problem that pops up in the city just about every summer, but South Bend leaders say graffiti is worse than it's ever been.

Just this past Sunday night vandals broke into the Church of Christ, on Caroline Street, caused major damage inside, and spray-painted graffiti outside.

Also, last month, South Bend police arrested a 15-year-old boy on Western Avenue, who they say is responsible for much of the graffiti in that area.

Not only does it cost money -- often tax dollars -- to clean up, city council members say residents are also paying for this sort of vandalism with quality of life. Now, the common council is looking at what they can do about it.

They are looking at ways to prevent graffiti, and hold those responsible accountable.

"There are some things that I think we can put in place; one, not to sell spray paint to individuals under sixteen, and increasing patrols. So I think there's a lot of things that we can do that will not result in increased funding," says Karen White, chair for the Health and Public Safety Committee.

Another option might be revoking driving rights from minors caught spraying graffiti. Current state statute allows a city to write up an ordinance that would do that.

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