Toward the end of summer, several complaints about graffiti came into my office, especially in the Franconia/Kingstowne and Telegraph Road areas.
Graffiti is a particular concern of mine and since taking office I’ve been pushing to get a streamlined graffiti response system in place and to get public entities such as VDOT to be more proactive cleaning up their property. Also, recent changes to state law now make it possible for the County to remove graffiti from private property if the property owner does not do so.
When I heard about the recent graffiti, I met with Captain Schaible of the Franconia police station and asked her to step up police patrols in the areas that were hit. She readily agreed to do so. Many of the sites that were hit by this visual plague were public property such as utility boxes. As they do with all instances of graffiti, the police document each graffiti site, identifying the hidden messages that often indicate who is responsible. (The police tell me that most of the graffiti we see is not gang related.)
While the police have an important role to play, community action is a key element in making an area inhospitable to graffiti artists and speeding up graffiti removal. We all know that the aesthetics of a community are key factors in supporting property values, instilling community pride, and keeping crime low. When rare instances of vandalism occur we all have a responsibility to stamp them out and protect our community. Whenever—and where ever—you see graffiti, you should report it. By all means, call it in to my office but even more importantly, please take a minute and report the graffiti directly to the police non-emergency number (703-691-2131). Reporting graffiti to the non-emergency number ensures that a police officer will be quickly dispatched to the graffiti site, setting the graffiti analysis and removal process in motion.
Also in This Issue of Supervisor McKay's Lee District Update:
- Message from Supervisor McKay
- The New Normal Budget
- Mortgage Fraud
- Large Area Parking District
- Parking Changes on the Horizon
- Lee District Survey