The City of Portland is excited to announce that it is continuing two popular programs in order to prevent and remove graffiti and encouraging two other new resources. Following up on the effort to paint utility boxes in 2016, five additional utility boxes will be available for local artists to paint later this summer, and the City has renewed its partnership with LearningWorks’ Graffiti Busters program to remove graffiti. In partnership with Portland Downtown, a reward fund has been established for the successful prosecution of graffiti vandals, and lastly, the City’s Neighborhood Prosecutor is available to discuss various preventative measures.
For more than 20 years, Portland has remained committed to keeping the city vibrant and free of graffiti. Since 2015, the City’s use of the See Click Fix application has resulted in the removal of over 700 graffiti markings, which represents over 60,000 square feet of defaced property. Removal of graffiti on public property is assigned to Public Works staff while private property removal is managed by the Neighborhood Prosecutor and conducted by the LearningWorks Graffiti Busters team.
The City’s ongoing commitment to improving the quality of life throughout our city is reflected in the following initiatives:
A Renewed Partnership with LearningWorks Graffiti Busters
The City developed a partnership with Portland Downtown and LearningWorks in 2017 and graffiti removal continued with a renewed vigor. These efforts were noticed by the International Downtown Association with their award of a Certificate of Merit to Portland Downtown for the success of the program in 2017. The LearningWorks Graffiti Busters team closed out over 170 See Click Fix complaints and removed over 13,000 square feet of graffiti in 2017. This year is off to a great start with over 150 tags removed in the first three months of the removal season. The City and Portland Downtown look forward to continuing its partnership with LearningWorks through the 2019 season and beyond.
Painting Five Utility Boxes in 2018
In 2016, the Portland Police Department, in conjunction with sponsors NBT Bank and Port Property Management, commissioned artists to paint five of Portland’s utility boxes. The artists were selected during a contest held by the Public Art Committee. The project has been a major success as the painted boxes continue to deter graffiti vandalism on these frequently targeted structures, improve the vibrancy of the vcty, and promote legal public art. Another round of five utility boxes will be painted in 2018. NBT Bank and Port Property Management have each contributed $1,000 for the 2018 project, and the Police Department will contribute an additional $500 to ensure that each artist is awarded a stipend of $500.
Applications are available here and the deadline for submissions is September 15.
Reward for Prosecution of Graffiti Vandals
A reward fund has been established for the successful prosecution of graffiti vandals. Portland Downtown will administer the program with a reward of $250 for information leading to each conviction of a graffiti vandal. If you see a graffiti act in progress, please call 911 or 874-8575. Do not approach a graffiti vandal. Applicants for a reward must disclose their name and be willing to testify as a witness. Donations to the reward fund are gladly accepted to ensure the longevity of the program. For more information on the reward program, please contact Amy Geren at Portland Downtown (207-772-6828 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Neighborhood Prosecutor Rich Bianculli (email@example.com or 207-756-8350).
Proactive Graffiti Deterrence and Public Art
The Neighborhood Prosecutor is available to discuss creative solutions to deterring graffiti on your property. While enhanced lighting and security may prove effective for some locations, other frequently tagged areas may benefit from anti-graffiti coatings or murals. Murals have proven very effective at deterring graffiti and the Prosecutor works with several mural artists in the Portland area.
For more information on graffiti prevention, please visit:
Police Department (www.portlandmaine.gov/1171/Neighborhood-Prosecutor) Contact: Rich Bianculli
LearningWorks (www.learningworks.me/our-programs/service-works) Contact: Tim Delahanty
Portland Downtown (www.portlandmaine.com/clean-safe-initiatives) Contact: Amy Geren
See Click Fix (www.seeclickfix.com/portland_2)