Web program helps South Bay police track, arrest taggers
WEB-BASED ANTI-GRAFFITI PROGRAM HELPS COUNTY'S POLICE AGENCIES SHARE INFORMATION TO IDENTIFY, ARREST THOSE RESPONSIBLE
By Mark Gomez, Mercury News, Article Launched: 09/01/2008 09:53:35 AM PDT
"Soon after joining the San Jose Police Department's anti-graffiti unit, Eric Hove saw a need for a more effective way to chase down the tagging crews and gang members who cause about $1.8 million in damage to the city every year.
So the computer-savvy cop did some research and found a Web-based program that he believes will make a serious dent in the South Bay's growing graffiti problem. Created by a Pittsburgh-based company, the Graffiti Tracking System will connect nearly every agency in Santa Clara County, allowing law enforcement officials to quickly and easily share information on taggers who often strike in more than one jurisdiction.
"Hopefully we can get a higher amount of arrests and better quality cases throughout the region and tie these people together so they get full accountability for what they've done," said Hove, who expects the system to be fully running this fall.
The Web-based program — which is replacing San Jose police's antiquated paper filing system — will allow investigators to download digital photos, receive e-mail alerts and more easily share information on the vandals who spray paint graffiti on sound walls, billboards and just about anything else in the public's view. Police track the taggers based on the signatures they typically leave with their handiwork, like artists signing a painting, which are often initials to represent a crew or a nickname for an individual..."
Full Article here.
San Jose police arrest four alleged gang taggers
By Mark Gomez, Mercury News, Article Launched: 09/07/2008 08:11:56 PM PDT
"JBF, a street gang known for spray-painting its initials on sound walls, freeway signs and private property throughout San Jose, has long been a thorn in the side of the San Jose Police Department's anti-graffiti unit, causing about $200,000 in damage every year.
But San Jose police recently arrested four of those gang members after reportedly catching them in the act of layering spray paint up and down a sound wall near Interstate 280. Police hope the decision to file felony vandalism charges with a gang enhancement will put a dent in the citywide damage caused by members of JBF, which stands for Just Bustin' Funk..."
Full Article here.