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Free graffiti-removal training offered to neighborhood groups

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The city is putting graffiti removal into the hands of neighborhoods with the tags. They will provide the tools and training if others will do the work.

The city will supply graffiti-removal towelettes and other tools that people can rent for free.

If one's car gets tagged, they just wipe the problem away, but the bigger jobs call for industrial-grade equipment.

Kansas City's Neighborhood Preservation and Housing Department invested in 10 of the power washers to help get rid of the ongoing graffiti issue.

"Some of the older neighborhoods are really challenged with graffiti, the west side portions of the old northeast especially, certain corridors in the city are notorious for taggers," abatement services manager John Parks said.

Graffiti contributes to neighborhood blight and drives down property values.

But, in most cases, city code requires the department to hold the property owner responsible for removing graffiti which sometimes goes untouched.

"They can't afford to purchase the equipment on their own," Parks said.

So the city is providing tools, chemicals, graffiti safe wipes and training to neighborhood groups to get the job done and help remove offensive graffiti.

"We'll instruct them on safety first, about not shooting the high pressure wand at anyone and maintenance of the machine," said Don Evans with, with Glidden Professional.

The easier it is to remove, the better, because timing is the best defense against offensive graffiti.

"If you remove it, the tagger will typically move on, maybe stop," Parks said.

People have to be trained to use those tools before they can rent them out, and they must sign a release form.

The city has a training session from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday at 4900 Swope Parkway.

Neighborhood Association leaders are encouraged to attend.

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