Mayor unveils new task force to help rid Bronx and city streets of graffiti

Graffiti artists beware. A new task force is hitting Bronx and city streets in an effort to clean up what the mayor calls an eyesore.

As part of the initiative Operation Impact, which is aimed at reducing crime, the mayor has unveiled the Vandals Task Force. The new task force consists of specialized officers who will patrol each of the five boroughs looking for graffiti. Mayor Bloomberg says graffiti is not just an eyesore but is also an invitation for criminal behavior.

Graffiti complaints to 311 will now go directly to the task force and up to $500 will be offered for anonymous tips leading to the arrest and conviction of vandals. In addition to the task force, the city is launching a public education campaign in schools and at community meetings.

Meantime, the mayor and police commissioner spoke about the success Operation Impact has had in reducing crime, but added that more work needs to be done. While some areas have been taken off of the high crime list, others such as Mott Haven, Mount Eden and Fordham have been added and will soon see an increased police presence.

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