City of Detroit removing graffiti from hundreds of tagged buildings

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It is part of the effort to clean up blight in Detroit as the city is going after taggers while cleaning up hundreds of properties plagued by graffiti.

"We are not allowing our property just to sit damaged, because we want people to know that the city of Detroit is here and we are rebuilding," said Jessica Parker, from the city of Detroit Building Services.

City leaders are celebrating a huge accomplishment in the fight against illegal graffiti, part an effort started by Mayor Mike Duggan in May 2015.

"So far we've removed over 17,500 tags from the city of Detroit, that's from all 7 districts, and we've cleaned over 900 properties," Parker said.

If properly registered, graffiti art is encouraged and embraced by the city. But it is the gang symbols causing concern and hurting business.

The removal of these tags took no more than 30 minutes, and for the people living and working inside buildings like these, the impact will last years.

"It actually beautifies the neighborhood, It makes the neighborhood more beautiful, more friendly to anybody who comes out," said Susana Garza.

Garza owns the Tamalaria Nuevo León in Mexicantown.

"It's an uphill battle, and I know when I've been tagged on my building," Garza said. "The minute I see it, within three hours, I cover it up."

Detroit police have zero tolerance.

"It's not a good idea at all, it's going to cost them their freedom for at least a period of time because they're going to be arrested," said Sgt. Rebecca McKay, Detroit police. "It is a big problem, although over the past year or so, the city's general services has been cleaning it at a rate like I've never seen in my career."

The effort will continue, and you can do your part by reporting illegal graffiti tagging to hotline at (313) 235-4359.