POSTED: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 8:50pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 12:32pm
The Brownsville Police Department says vandalism throughout the city is constant but graffiti is not. The majority of graffiti seen throughout the city are often symbols of the different gangs in the Valley like "Sur 13" or "The Vallucos."
Chris Patterson was a police officer in New Mexico and worked in the gang task force for many years. He tells us that these guys spray their affiliations name on fences, light posts and bus stops to give them a sort of ownership of the area.
An area that's heavily tagged is Tony Gonzalez Park in Southmost. Patterson says gangs vandalize picnic areas at night. The taggings are frequent. The City's Park and Recreation Department is constantly painted over the unwanted markings.
“It’s a very ugly thing. It does make it look bad, worse than it actually is.”
City employees say they have to re-paint 20 to 25 times a year.
An abandoned house in the same area is also an eyesore. gangs have marked the entire house. They have sprayed the house in different colors, names and phrases.
Nearby neighbors are fed up with this problem and they want to see it stop.
“This is where we live and they’re here vandalizing these homes.”
“I think it’s terrible! I think the cops need to come around more often.”
Patterson says the graffiti in Brownsville is not as bad as it is in other places throughout the Valley. He tells us the upper Valley is inundated with graffiti. But it's still a major problem that needs to stop.
Any person tagging private property will be arrested. Brownsville Police say the severity of the charge will be determined by that person's criminal record.