Community plays big role in graffiti prevention

Community plays big role in graffiti prevention
YAKIMA, Wash. -- David Hanson lived at this house for years. His biggest complaint: graffiti.

"They had the spray paint and were hitting everything they could see as they were running down the alley," said David Hanson.

He says his home was tagged almost every night. But then he took a stand.

"That light there made a lot of difference," said David.

Once the light went up and a new coat of paint covered the house, David stopped becoming a graffiti victim.

"It literally stopped," David said.

The work certainly paid off for David's home, but graffiti remains in the alleyway behind his house.

Dick Douglas hopes involvement in his local Block Watch can help turn that around.

"Eyes and ears; that's what we want," said Dick.

Dick doesn't let his age slow him down.The 92-year-old still patrols his neighborhood with fellow Block Watch members in hopes of making people think twice before they tag their neighborhood.

"We watch for any signs of anything," said Dick.

Dick and his team members report anything suspicious to police, and they encourage you to do so too. So do Yakima police.

"Don't feel like something is so miniscule or so unimportant that calling 911 is going to be viewed as a bother, because that's our job," said Yakima Police Department Capt. Rod Light. "Our job is to respond and take care of those things."

Police can't be everywhere but the community is, which is why Block Watch is always looking for more volunteers.

"We'll take as many members that want to join," said Dick.

And Yakima needs it, as graffiti makes neighborhoods an eyesore.

"It definitely compromises our feeling of safety and well-being," said David.

You can contact Yakima County Block Watch or the Yakima Police Department for help starting a group.