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L.A. launches graffiti-tracking program using smart phones

A program that uses smart phones to track and arrest graffiti vandals was launched Friday by the city of Los Angeles.

The Tracking and Automated Graffiti Removal System, or TAGRS, allows graffiti-cleaning crews equipped with smart phones to photograph the markings and upload them to a Los Angeles Police Department database.

The photos are used to gather evidence for prosecution and restitution, city officials said.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined City Councilman Jose Huizar, City Atty. Carmen Trutanich and the office of community beautification to launch the program Friday morning at the Hollenbeck police station.

The LAPD launched a pilot project in 2009 in Van Nuys, modeling its version on one run by the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

The program is now anchored at four LAPD stations, Van Nuys, Hollenbeck, Central and Harbor, said Villaraigosa spokeswoman Casey Hernandez.

Once the graffiti suspects' identities are discovered, the information is added to the TAGRS database and may eventually uncover incidents involving the same suspects.

Los Angeles spends about $10 million a year cleaning up graffiti, Hernandez said.


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Photo: Graffiti damage on a church's stained glass windows in Los Angeles. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (8)

Why is Huizar always using the police station to get media attention? He is lying to people saying he made it happen when he was nowhere around and its Prop Q money. Cops don't like Huizar because too many times he's criticized them in the media and rushed to judgement without knowing the facts. Now he has a press conference in front of their station. I'm sure that will upset them knowing he supports the gangsters in Ramona Gardens Housing and not them.

Its about time, with the exception of the mayor joining in, the bum has been in office too long and hasn't come up with any solid ideas to combat, gangs, drugs and graffiti. I started to think he supported this kind of mess. Damn fool has gang bangers on the payroll at tax payer expense.

Don't let the mayor take credit for this, he has been absent since he was elected.

Better late than never.

How about if we do to them the same? Yes, go inside their homes and
plast the walls, TV screen, pictures, with some kind of graffiti?

The Best thing to do for large wall areas is to purchase a clinging vine that hugs the wall. We were calling the city almost twice a month to paint over the back of garage. Now, we planted this vine., it looks beautiful and voila! no more graffiti.

Great Job keep it up! I HATE GRAFFITI

Imagine if all of the law enforcement agencies in the area communicated with each other on this kind of stuff... Jut like Homeland Security became unified in their info sharing, this could do wonders if egos are put aside. EVERYONE hates graffiti. It is a threat to our society. It devalues our property and communities... It costs local businesses and the city millions to remove this crap.... Time to stick it back to these "artists" and their parents who allow it to happen.

i like graffiti. i dont like gang tags claiming turf. i wish they spent 10 million on arts programs for youth instead of figuring out how to lock young people up.


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