Sheriff’s Office seeks volunteers for graffiti cleanup

Reno, NV…The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office is asking for volunteers to help turn the tide on graffiti vandalism by taking part in a graffiti cleanup event at the Sun Valley Community Center from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 8, 2011, weather permitting.

The Sheriff is also looking for concerned citizens to donate paint, brushes or gloves to the effort.

Graffiti vandalism is now one of the public’s foremost quality of life concerns. Scrawls of graffiti are popping up everywhere throughout northern Nevada: parks, highway overpasses, street signs, even the most pristine of landmarks.

“Only a community working together can make a difference,” Washoe County Undersheriff Todd Vinger said. “If you accept it, you promote it. All it takes is one person, one group, one unified effort to break the cycle and turn the tide.”

What: Volunteer Graffiti Cleanup

When: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 8, 2011, weather permitting

Where: Sun Valley Community Center, 115 W. 6th Ave., Sun Valley

Contact: Katie Stueve: (775) 328-3361

Aside from being unsightly, graffiti creates a negative perception of neighborhood safety and reduces property value. The considerable financial cost involved in removing graffiti is an increasing burden to citizens and municipalities.

“If we allow current graffiti trends to continue, we set a new accepted norm,” Undersheriff Vinger said. Vinger invited a number of local and state agencies to a strategic planning session in July in order to assess resources, and collaborate on an action plan to address the growing graffiti problem.

The resulting plan emphasizes the importance of enforcement, taking advantage of new and tougher state legislation targeting graffiti vandals and holding their parents and guardians accountable when applicable. Also cited was the need to engage residents, neighborhoods, businesses and schools to help in efforts to wipe out graffiti.

“The Sheriff’s Office and its partners cannot do it alone,” Vinger said. “We need community support to help wipe out graffiti.”

Community cleanups like the one being held at the Sun Valley Community Center on October 8 are one good way for the public to get involved with efforts to reduce the damage done by graffiti vandals. Residents are also encouraged to:

Visit the Washoe Sheriff website at and click on “graffiti” for more comprehensive information on graffiti in Washoe County and instructions on how to report graffiti.

Report graffiti:
Washoe County Sheriff: (775) 328-3361
Reno Direct: (775) 334-2099
Secret Witness: (775) 322-4900

Contact the Sheriff’s Anti-Graffiti Coordinator Deputy Robert Cook at 325-6466 to establish a community group or learn how you can assist with anti-graffiti efforts.