Mission Viejo is in the process of implementing a new tool to help combat crime.
The City will launch the Tracking Automated and Graffiti Reporting System (TAGRS) to reduce graffiti as part of a public service effort to improve the quality of life for residents. The Sheriff’s Department’s system helps investigators identify and prosecute graffiti suspects.
The system allows City Public Services employees to use cell phones equipped with cameras and global-positioning devices to document and track graffiti and the cost to remove it. The information is sent automatically to the TAGRS database, which serves as an investigative aid in graffiti crimes. When vandals are identified, the database is used to determine if they have committed other graffiti crimes. The free program can help cities with seeking restitution.
Costs associated with graffiti are significant – an estimated $12 billion a year is spent across the nation cleaning up graffiti, according to the Sheriff’s Department. Graffiti contributes to lost revenue associated with reduced ridership on transit systems, reduced retail sales and declines in property value. It also generates the perception of blight.