San Antonio confronts graffiti problem with cell phone reports

Dallas graffiti

Credit: WFAA

Dallas police are attempting to combat illegal graffiti by offering "taggers" authorized places to display their handiwork.

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by ROGELIO MARES

KENS 5 San Antonio

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 11:44 AM

SAN ANTONIO -- Starting on Monday and continuing through the next two months, VIA, San Antonio's public transit system, will have ads promoting an effort by the city to get citizens involved in keeping the city free from graffiti.

Johnny Black runs Gyro's restaurant on Probandt near Highway 90 and graffiti is a problem he knows all too well.

"The fence from here on down has always gotten tagged," he said. "I keep constantly painting over it, and the dumpster gets tagged a lot." 

Running a business is one thing, but there's another never ending job for Johnny.

"It takes a lot of work just to do what I need to do, and then I've got to stop doing that to paint something," Black said. 

Enter the City of San Antonio and "NoGraffitiSA," a campaign to delete those eyesores, and residents are directly involved in helping out. 

Whenever you see graffiti, you can use your phone to let the city know about it through an app called "SA 311." It lets you file a report and you can even take a picture of the graffiti and send it to the city.

The city of Dallas has a similar app, Dallas 311, which allows users to report violations like graffiti, litter, loose animals, illegal dumping or obstructions, as well as request street and traffic signal repairs.

"I'm all for it," Black said. "I'm hoping the city can put a stop to graffiti." 

He's hoping you'll play your part to keep him in the kitchen and not outside worrying about graffiti. 

"I'd thank them for it, for getting themselves involved and trying to stop a crime because it is a crime."

The app is easy to download and available for iPhone and Android users.

Since August, the city now considers stickers to be graffiti as well, but only when they're placed illegally.

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