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News Release

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Media Relations

LAPD Teams Up with A Place Called Home to Stamp out Graffitti

LAPD Teams Up with "A Place Called Home" to Stamp out Graffiti


Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department’s Newton Area Police Station has teamed up with "A Place Called Home", to sponsor an Art Logo Competition in an effort to discourage and prevent graffiti. "A Place Called Home" is a non-profit youth-based organization located in South Los Angeles.

In December 2002, Newton Area Police Station launched an anti-gang crime suppression program called the Graffiti Free Zone Crime Suppression Program. The program is a collaborative effort between the police, a number of community-based organizations and city services departments. Once areas saturated with graffiti, gang violence, narcotics activity and other public nuisance problems are identified, city services and community organizations come together and clean up the area. Police resources are then deployed in the target area for a sustained period of time. The program then moves to another target area, while a police presence in the previous area is maintained. The results for the first three months have been very encouraging: 56% increase in arrests, 16% decrease in reported part-one crimes, 66% reduction in reported graffiti and an improved quality of life for the residents in the target areas.

The message from the Department is clear; we will not tolerate graffiti. We will utilize available resources to target and arrest graffiti vandals. Graffiti is not only a visible pollutant to our communities, but it is also a territorial sign of gang violence and narcotic activities. The Department, however, recognizes that there are some individuals who, while they may not be representative of the criminal element in our society, do succumb to other pressures to engage in decadent behavior, which includes engaging in graffiti. For this reason and as a preventative strategy, the Department has joined forces with "A Place Called Home" to launch a tagger/graffiti logo competition; a move that is designed to prevent graffiti and offer individuals an opportunity to showcase their otherwise artistic talents. For the past year, Newton Area police officers and "A Place Called Home" have worked together on gang prevention and intervention. This graffiti art competition is another way to demonstrate the Department’s commitment to supporting the youths of this community.

While the Department will not hesitate to arrest and seek prosecution of graffiti offenders, it should be noted that our goal is prevention and intervention; to offer those who wish to put their artistic talents to good use, an opportunity to do so in an acceptable and productive manner. The logo themes are by nature anti-crime and anti-graffiti. To make this most rewarding and to have a lasting effect on the lives of the participants, the prizes will include job-internships (mostly at art-related businesses), scholarships to graphic art institutions and cash incentives.

The competition was officially launched on Tuesday, April 8, 2003. Those interested in participating in the contest can pick up entry forms and art supplies, free of charge, at "A Place Called Home", located at 2830 South Central Avenue. Completed entry forms must be turned in to the aforementioned location by Friday, May 23, 2003. An awards ceremony, displaying entries and announcing winners, will be on May 31, 2003 at 2:00 P.M. Members of the media are encouraged to publicize this endeavor and then attend the ceremony on May 23rd. Members of the media wishing to conduct interviews regarding this event, or seeking further information, are encouraged to call Media Relations Section at 213-485.3586.

This advisory was prepared by Lieutenant Horace Frank, Media Relations Section.

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