Minneapolis city crews hard at work removing graffiti
MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis crews are busy trying to tackle some spring cleaning of graffiti. It’s showing up more often — there were more than 1,800 calls about graffiti in Minneapolis from January to March.
That’s up more than 500 from the same stretch last year.
Shaunte Hill is a one-man crew working to beautify Minneapolis.
“[We] take a picture first to show what we are cleaning or removing,” Hill explained. “So usually we like to try and clean it first, but sometimes it doesn’t come off, so we have to paint over it.”
Hill says most of his day is directed by calls from residents asking for a clean-up crew.
“It’s all about if you see it, do it type thing,” Hill said. “I’m in the neighborhood, I got a work order right there, I might as well come over here and get this one out the way too before that one gets called in.”
Hill says crews become familiar with the names of some of the taggers. He says it’s pretty much the same people most of the time.
“As soon as we clean it up, they are putting it right back. It’s almost like a cat and mouse game with them,” Hill said.
Hill uses state-of-the-art equipment.
“A product we call elephant snot — I’ll put that on there. I’ll scrub it a little bit. It needs to sit there and soak into the concrete, pull that paint out, and then we’ll power wash it,” Hill said.
Cleaning graffiti off the highway system is the responsibility of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, but they say it is not a priority. MnDOT says its main focus is to keep the highway safe.
But for city crews, their job is constant — one tag at a time, cleaning up to help keep Minneapolis beautiful.
Neighborhood groups also call the city for supplies to help keep the community clean.
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO from WNBC-TV in New York City where he covered an array of stories for the station including the Coney Island plane crash, the crane collapse on the city’s east side, 50 shots fired at motorist Sean Bell by New York Police, and a lacrosse team assault at Fairfield High School in Connecticut.