More graffiti, more gangs in Pasco

More graffiti, more gangs in Pasco »Play Video
PASCO, Wash. - Take a closer look at the writing on the wall around Pasco. These taggings aren't just doodles, they're the markings of gangs.

Crews in charge of cleaning up these amateur paint jobs have seen a shift. It's not just punks with paint, more than half are attributed to gangs.

Neighbor Michael Davidson said, "I think that the city's doing a good job of trying to get a handle on it. It's a tough thing."

He has a business downtown. He's been hit by both burglars and taggers.

His daughter Lee says, "It seems like that's just the way the city's turning."

The perception is becoming the reality. Last year, Pasco averaged 250 cases of graffiti a month. The number of reports is up this year.
February is the shortest month and saw close to 400 cases, setting the pace to pass last year's incidents.

Crews are out at least three times a week during winter, scrubbing away messages of gang claimed territory. They often end up cleaning the same spot more than once, sometimes on the same day.

Resources are centered in East Pasco.

If you think graffiti is only a problem here, think again. Graffiti is starting to pop up even more on the west side, especially by the newer developments.

Greg Vance, Graffiti Abatement Officer, said, "Nobody's, you know, immune to it. I mean, it's been clear up to Road 100 and beyond and clear out to Road 40 East and further towards Burbank."

Neighbors hope these efforts to crack down will make a difference.

Michael said, "I think what happens, sometimes is law enforcement in one particular city might get aggressive and they run gangsters out of town."

Out of town, taking their dirty deeds with them.

Once the warmer weather kicks in crews will be out every weekday to stay on top of the graffiti and tagging.