Community Takes A Stand Against Graffiti

August 17, 2011 Updated Aug 17, 2011 at 4:34 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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August 17, 2011 Updated Aug 17, 2011 at 4:34 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - Community members and law enforcement are teaming up to help stop the spread of graffiti in Buffalo. They are starting with making people aware of the problem.

Retired Buffalo State Police Officer and Director of the Anti-Graffiti Task Force Sam Lunetta said from South Buffalo to the Elmwood Village, the Graffiti can't be missed.

"It's a big problem not just in Buffalo but all over and if we don't stay on top of it and mitigate it the it's only going to get worse," Lunetta said.

The community came together for an anti-graffiti training seminar at Buffalo State College, teaching members of the community how to recognize types of graffiti, clean graffiti that is there and how to prevent the mess altogether.

"We have block clubs local communities, schools. Basically, all the people that are sick of seeing the same damage," Buffalo State College Health Education Teacher Jonathan Lindner said.

It's not only about the damage and the aesthetics of the area. There's a deep concern that comes with graffiti.

"Our work is based on the "Broken Window Theory" which states that if there is property damage in the area the likelihood of there being more damage or more severe damage significantly goes up," Lindner said.

They said the first step is awareness.

"With academics we don't usually get the cross over with community and law enforcement might not recognize the issue community is having because they don't speak well together. We're really trying to remove the communication barrier," Lindner said.

Once the communication is flowing, they said it's up to the community and law enforcement to remain a team and fight the on going battle.