Public Help Needed to Fight Graffiti Surge in Natomas

Source: City of Sacramento

Graffiti reported August 2012 to January 2014. / Source: City of Sacramento

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

City officials seek the public’s help in combating a recent surge of graffiti in the Natomas area.

Reports of graffiti vandalism in zip codes 95833, 95834 and 95835 for January 2014 were at the highest levels in more than a year, according to Sacramento 311.

As of Jan. 24, the city received 62 reports of graffiti – topping the previous high of 53 in the last 18 months.

“Natomas is notorious for sound walls that face the public right of way,” said Noel Eusebio, a senior code enforcement supervisor for the city. “There are a lot of canvasses in Natomas that can be taken advantage of.”

Much of the graffiti reported last month was painted on park fences, but it also marred sound walls, bus stops, utility monuments and other park amenities such as portable toilets.

“Although some graffiti can be very colorful, it is not art,” Sacramento police Lt. Charles Husted said. “Graffiti is a crime that can become very expensive for communities.”

Data collected by Paladin Private Security, which patrols in both north and south Natomas, showed 116 vandalism reports over the past 90 days, including graffiti, forwarded to Sacramento 311.

Paladin vice president Matt Carroll said that while the recent increase in graffiti does not appear to be gang related, all graffiti should be removed as quickly as possible.

“You get the competitive spirit between (taggers),” Carroll said. “Vandalism begets vandalism. They tag, tag over it and tag next to it.”

The most effective method to prevent graffiti is to remove it within 24 to 48 hours, Husted said.

The city’s code enforcement division has a team of three people responsible for investigating reports of, and removing, graffiti citywide. The sooner graffiti is reported, the faster it can be removed, Eusebio said.

That’s where the public comes in, said Elena Quintero, parks liaison for District 1.

Area residents are encouraged to take photos of graffiti and report it to the city by calling Sacramento 311, via the city’s website or using the 311 app for smart phones. (Efforts are made to remove obscene or gang-related graffiti within 24 hours when possible, Quintero said.)

“When graffiti is allowed to remain, it can send the message that the neighborhood does not care about its appearance,” Husted said. “Graffiti hurts communities and can become an open invitation for loitering, littering, additional graffiti, and other crime.”

The city of Sacramento issues graffiti cleanup kits on a case-by-case basis. If you’re interested in finding out more about how to obtain a kit, call Sacramento 311.

Source: City of Sacramento

Graffiti can be reported by calling 311, via the Sacramento 311 website & 311 app. / Source: City of Sacramento


  1. Keith Sharward says

    Good report. I find it convenient to email such photos to [email protected] along with a precise description of its location.

    • Elena Quintero says

      If it needs to be taken care of immediately because it’s obscene it gang-related, I normally email, then call and tell them I’ve emailed. They respond to calls fastest, then the app and web cases, then email. They’ll even tell you that. I also like the app because you can send pics, description, and address at the same time, BUT when you’re not sure of the address, their map helps you with it. I report things 2-7 times a week, since I’m out on the streets a lot. I <3 311!!!

  2. Curtis Vandermolen says

    Though I am no expert, I disagree with Paladin. We have seen a huge surge of gang activity over the last year – especially around the CVS parking lot and nearby apartments. There is also an increase in drug sales at nearby parks. The Bloods have staked out territory in North Natomas … I’m sure they are making it known with graffiti. Regency Park has had to start a neighborhood watch program in a neighborhood that was rather dormant for at least the last 5 years.

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