PARKERSBURG - The Parkersburg Police Department and the Parkersburg Public Works Department are trying to curb the graffiti problem plaguing the city.
Police Chief Joe Martin said the department, along with local business owners, has offered a $1,000 incentive for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone engaged in graffiti.
Martin said the city departments have made great strides in cleaning and removing the graffiti from city signs and utility boxes. He said the removal of the graffiti will continue in hopes the city will set the example for private property owners to follow.
Photo by Mandi Cardosi
Graffiti has plagued the Parkersburg area and police have decided to offer a reward for anyone with information on the criminal activity.
"Property owners who do not remove the graffiti are sending the wrong message," Martin said. "The structure then becomes a magnet for others to vandalize."
Since the city began the cleanup efforts, the graffiti has begun to resurface, causing additional work for the city, Martin said. The police department recognized the need for the community to become involved with the department to assist in identifying the criminals.
"A vital part of that involvement is intelligence or information that the public provides to the department," Martin said. "The concept of providing money for information to solve crimes is not something that is new to law enforcement."
Martin said he hopes the reward incentive will allow for more people to become involved in solving the crimes. The local business community has supported police and offered the reward money to help combat the problem, he said.
"The affected area is concentrated to the downtown district and the residential area surrounding the downtown area," Martin said. "The overall objective is to have a better looking city and not overlook the ones responsible for creating the problem."
Residents can become involved to eradicate the "eyesores in all neighborhoods within the city," Martin said.
Anyone with information can contact the police department at 304-424-8444 or leave anonymous tips at www.parkersburgpolice.com.