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'Graffiti Busters' take down tagging all over the City of Phoenix

February marks the city of Phoenix’s eighth annual Graffiti-Free Phoenix Awareness Month.

PHOENIX — Are you sick of seeing graffiti all over the city?

Don't feel helpless, there's something you can do about it!

February marks the city of Phoenix’s eighth annual Graffiti-Free Phoenix Awareness Month, and residents can help in the fight against blight.

The annual event, hosted by the Neighborhood Services Department, focuses on encouraging the community to help wipe out graffiti and learn how to get it removed by reporting it.

Betsy Cable with Neighborhood Services said this goes beyond trying to make our city beautiful, it's a matter of safety and security. 

"Trying to make it beautiful, trying to make it clean, trying to let people feel safe in their neighborhoods," Cable explained. "It is a crime, it is vandalism, and if you leave it up then that makes the neighborhood look like it's prone to crime. If you remove it, you remove that stigma."  

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The city’s Graffiti Busters work seven days a week to keep Phoenix graffiti-free, often responding to reports from citizens. 

"They are the most passionate group of men and women removing graffiti throughout the city seven days a week," Cable said.

"We go out and abate property like fences, buildings, walls, and sidewalks," graffiti buster George Cota added. "It’s disappointing what the youth is doing, some of it is hardcore gangs so it is disappointing but I'll come in and make it look like it was never there."

The graffiti busters cover or remove up to 200 sites of graffiti every single day for free.

Last year, crews used nearly 12,000 gallons of paint and cleaned up nearly 52,000 sites of graffiti around Phoenix.

"Just shy of 52,000 sites were removed last year, the year before we removed about 54,000 sites," Cable said. 

Three ways to report graffiti in Phoenix:

1. App: myPHX311 (use the TELL THE CITY ABOUT tab)

2. Call: 602-534-4444

3. Email: blight@phoenix.gov

Residents can also wipe out graffiti themselves. The city of Phoenix will color match & provide paint, supplies, and training to community volunteers who want to organize a cleanup in their neighborhood.

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