A Guide to Graffiti

  • By Spokane C.O.P.S.
  • 20 Jul, 2016

The presence of graffiti can negatively impact a community, from declining property values to attracting more crime to decreasing citizens’ feelings of safety. As a citizen, you can take action to prevent and fight graffiti.

Graffiti Prevention Tips

Vandals look for easy targets that allow them to graffiti a wall without being seen. Take these steps to help deter them from targeting your home or business.

  • Plant fast growing vines, shrubs, or thorny bushes to limit accessibility to walls and fences
  • Install sensor lighting / or cameras
  • Use dark paint colors when painting walls or fences
  • Whenever possible, use tinted anti-graffiti coating
  • Maintain the appearance of your home. Houses with litter, broken fences, and overgrown landscaping send a message to vandals that the homeowner is not attentive.
  • Keep a watch on the neighborhood. When citizens are alert on the activities in their neighborhood, it’s harder for vandals to strike. Start a Block Watch that unites neighbors to prevent crime. You can also request a Neighborhood Observation Patrol . Our volunteers are trained by the Spokane Police Department and patrol Spokane streets keeping an eye out for crime. Having their presence in your neighborhood could help deter a would-be vandal.
  • If you live in multi-housing, encourage your landlord to complete our Crime Free Multi-Housing program . The training focuses on crime prevention through environmental design, and that includes graffiti prevention.

Reporting Graffiti

If your home or business gets hit with graffiti, you can report it to the city through the online tool , calling Code Enforcement at 509.625.6083, or filling out a paper form .

How to Paint Over Graffiti

  • Remove graffiti as soon as possible. When graffiti is removed within two days, the chances of it reoccurring drastically drop.
  • Never throw paint or paint-contaminated water down a storm drain or onto the ground.
  • Always clean brushes and equipment in a sink or drain in your home where it can go through a sewage treatment plant.
  • For small amounts of paint left in cans, leave uncovered (or mix in clean cat litter) in a safe place away from children and pets until paint dries and hardens. Dispose of dried paint cans (lids off) in the trash.
  • Always use latex paint since it’s safer for the environment. If you are using oil based paint dispose of it by taking it to the hazardous waste station of the landfill. Call Spokane’s Regional Solid Waste hotline at 625-6800 if you have any questions regarding paint disposal.
  • Make sure the paint you’re using matches the rest of the paint. A large different colored patch is a target for more graffiti.
For more crime prevention and safety tips, follow us on Facebook , Twitter , Linkedin , and Pinterest !
Want to make Spokane a safer place? Volunteer at your local C.O.P.S. shop with one of our crime prevention programs , from lifting fingerprints off of vehicles to catch car prowlers to organizing a block watch for your neighborhood.

Spokane C.O.P.S.

By Spokane C.O.P.S. 13 Oct, 2016
With recent headlines about a sex offender being released in Spokane (See Here and Here ), the best way to safeguard your neighborhoods and families is to be well informed. The Sex Offender Registry is a tool allowing citizens to access information on registered sex offenders. Here’s a breakdown on what you need to know.
By Spokane C.O.P.S. 07 Oct, 2016

Spokane C.O.P.S. is here with Safe Streets! Safe Streets is a step-by-step approach, channeling all your frustrations into a plan of action utilizing civil courts. Since nuisance houses are defined in the city municipal code, you can effectively take the owner of the house (whether they live there or the house is a rental property) to court for violating this ordinance. A judgment against the owner results in fines paid to affected neighbors.

Safe Streets is a community action guide for the city and county of Spokane that includes community policing tools for helping make your neighborhood safe and nuisance free. Safe Streets motivates individuals to participate at the most fundamental level of the democratic process to create a community that reflects the standards and moral of the residents. It also teaches the community how to maintain those standards. Safe Streets will show you how to recognize nuisance house danger signs,  organize your block, form a team with police and possible city officials, document a public nuisance, research property ownership, and deal with the cooperative and uncooperative property owners. Safe Streets empowers citizens to create a nuisance-free neighborhood that is a safe, clean, and a healthy environment for individuals and families.

Safe Streets can be a much faster way to get results than other options. Oftentimes, even repeated visits by the police is not enough to change behavior. But by facing legal action and potentially large fines for failure to act, owners often deal with the problem immediately as that is preferable to going to court.  The Safe Street program has been implemented over 450 times with successful results.

Stop by your neighborhood C.O.P.S. shop for more information.





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Over 7,000 cases of personal property theft have been recorded so far this year (up 4.5% from this time last year). In many of these cases, Spokane police officers are able to recover the stolen property...with no way of identifying the owner. When they can’t find the owner, the items eventually go to auction to free up much needed space in the police evidence facility. This raises an important question-if your property is stolen and recovered by police, would you be able to prove it’s yours?

That’s where Operation ID comes into play. The idea is to mark your valuable possessions with an identifying number (like your driver’s license number). Engraving a number helps deter theft since it’s harder to sell an ID-ed item to a pawn shop. If the item is stolen, the identifying number helps you prove ownership of the item to the police.

Operation ID also involves creating an inventory of the make and model of all ID-ed items, which you then put in a secure place. In the event of theft, fire damage, or other incident where you need to make a claim to your insurance company for item replacement, your information is ready for the insurance company.

Operation ID is a free service that only takes a few minutes. Bring your valuables to your local C.O.P.S. shop to borrow an engraver and pick up an inventory log.

Another property identification program is SpokaneBikeID.org , a city wide bike registration database. The information uploaded during registration is used by police to connect a recovered bike to its rightful owner. You can bring your bike by your local C.O.P.S. shop and our volunteers will register it for you (and you can get a free child’s helmet while supplies last).

For more crime prevention information, check out our Facebook , Twitter , Linkedin , and Pinterest .
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But there is one thing everyone can agree on: staying safe. And we here at Spokane C.O.P.S. are, as usual, committed to your safety. So we’ve created a list of a few things that you can do to help keep your kids safe as they head back to school.
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