While graffiti taggers may attempt to leave their mark around Naperville, city crews quickly clean up defaced property.
In May and early June, a “snow storm” of sorts hit Naperville as a tagger defaced at least 23 electrical boxes and additional property with the word “snow,” according to reports. Those taggings continued on an off through the start of June.
“We think it’s more of a tagging thing, not gang related,” said Naperville Police Sgt. Gregg Bell. “They are just tagging; maybe coming up with a name for themselves.”
Once the graffiti is found it doesn’t stay up for long in the city, he said.
“The faster you clean it up, the more discouraging it is for the person doing it,” Bell said. “Their handiwork isn’t being observed.”
In some cases cleaning the graffiti requires pressure washing, in other cases it requires painting, Bell said.
The city doesn't track the costs of removal and over the last year the public works department received about 25 requests for removal, said Department of Public Works Operations Team Leader Christine Schwartzhoff.
"The manpower for each event ranges in staff time from one hour to eight hours depending on the extent of the graffiti and its location," she said.
Much of the recent tagging incidents took place along busy city streets, like Ogden Avenue, but at night during the week or on the weekends there isn’t much traffic in Naperville or people around to see the taggers, Bell said.
The nuisance behaviors tend to rise over summer when the temperatures are warmer, he said.