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Graffiti Abatement is Homeowners’ Responsibility

Normally, when graffiti is spotted within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the SRPMIC Public Works Department is notified for graffiti abatement. However, this will no longer be the procedure when it comes to private properties.

Graffiti is a noticeable problem here in the Community. Graffiti abatement is usually a top priority due to the fact that graffiti can lower property values, increase repair costs and incite criminal activity. Graffiti vandalism is a burden that affects the entire Community.

“What we’ve been doing is going out and abating private property for all the graffiti inside and outside the fences [of Community members’] homes, sheds and [other areas]. Lately, we’ve been getting more and more [calls for graffiti abatement on private property],” said Assistant Public Works Director Dawn Sinoqui.

“We want to let Community members know that we’re no longer going to go out to the homes and abate graffiti anymore. There is a process for graffiti abatement in the ordinance, and we’re going to start following it,” said Sinoqui.

From now on, Benny Colorow Johnson, the Community graffiti abatement technician, will only remove graffiti in public areas: areas along streets, on standpipes, in select parks, and on sidewalks and ditches. The work can only be done through work orders.

According to the ordinance, if Johnson sees a home (occupied or unoccupied) or perhaps a fence that is tagged on private property, he won’t remove the graffiti; instead, he’ll send out a notice in writing to the homeowner or landowner of that property describing the violation and location.

Here are some answers to questions Community members may have about graffiti removal.

What should I do if I find graffiti on my private property?

Call the Salt River Police Department dispatch at (480) 850-9230 and make a police report. They will take pictures and follow proper protocol. A work order will be created for Public Works, if need be. After Public Works receives the work order, the homeowner will be contacted with proper instructions.

What happens if someone is “caught in the act” while vandalizing?

That person will be charged. This is handled by Salt River Police Department.

What if I live in a SHRRP home or public housing?

If you live in a Senior Home Repair and Replacement Program (SHRRP) home, call SRPMIC Engineering and Construction Services at (480) 362-7900 and they will provide you with proper instruction for abatement. If you live in public housing, follow the same procedure; call the Salt River Police Department at (480) 850-9230 and they will create a work order for you that will eventually fall into the hands of Public Works.

How many days do I have to remove graffiti on my property?

The SRPMIC Public Works Department shall, in writing, notify the responsible party with a notice of violation informing the party of the duty to remove the graffiti within 15 days.

What happens if I don’t remove the graffiti within 15 days?

Public Works then will have the authority to enter your private property and remove the graffiti. Public Works will bill the responsible party for associated costs. If needed, police will be there to enforce. If the responsible party still does not pay the amount owed, the matter will be forwarded to the SRPMIC Prosecutor’s office, which will decide what is necessary to collect payment. Homeowners can appeal the notice.

What are some things I can do to remove graffiti on my property?

Search “How to remove graffiti” online and learn how to take care of it on your own. You may want to purchase items such as:

Recommended items, currently used by Public Works for graffiti removal: Zep Clean ’Ems graffiti removal towels, and Zep Erase aerosol (vandal mark remover); Write Off aerosol (graffiti remover), by a company called Marc; and GrafTech graffiti removal solution (for brick, stone and masonry) by Sunrise Environmental Scientific. These items may be found at Home Depot. Read the labels and follow the directions for using these products.

If you have questions, call the SRPMIC Public Works Department at (490) 362-5600.