News | 594 Graffiti | Graffiti Tracking | Providers of TAGRS | Tracking and Automated Graffiti Reporting System

Meeting Challenges in Bus Transit Security

BY JOHN CRANDALL, For Passenger Transport

Whether it's snowballs, graffiti, bus hijackings, or bomb plots, the public transportation industry needs to be aware of the threats it faces every day.

So, on the final day of the APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference in Long Beach, CA, panelists discussed what public transit systems in Kentucky, California, and Wisconsin are doing to prepare for potential security risks and to analyze actual ones.

During the May 9 morning session, "Current Issues & Challenges in Bus Transit Security," William Kessler, director of safety, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY, talked about the steps public transit systems must take to stay safe.


How the City of Gardena Turns Every Piece of Graffiti Into a Felony Crime

In this week's cover story, "Los Angeles' War on Street Artists," we reveal that the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, with the help of city and county prosecutors, figured out how to try all graffiti artists as gangsters in court.

In short: For the last five years or so, the sheriff has been treating all graffiti crews as "criminal street gangs" under the California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act (STEP Act), thus turning every tag into a felony crime by way of "gang enhancement."

Pretty intense, for a nonviolent crime. And it turns out that's not the only trick up the sheriff's sleeve:


Taggers And Their Parents Under Fire

With graffiti in Lake Elsinore and Wildomar on the rise, the Lake Elsinore Sheriff's Station is making a point of letting parents know they are on the hook if their kids get caught tagging.

Wednesday deputies from the Lake Elsinore Police Department's Special Enforcement Team, which operates out the Lake Elsinore Sheriff's Station, arrested a 17-year-old on suspicion of graffiti vandalism. The damages due to the alleged nine tagging acts are estimated at more than $1,500 – a price the parents will be expected to pay if the teen is convicted.


Holly Perez talked about Graffiti and Tagging

Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's Holly Perez talked about graffiti and tagging as an issue they are facing. The Tracking Automated and Graffiti Reporting System (TAGRS) is used to store and track incidents. It is a free shared database in their area for law enforcement to help identify and prosecute graffiti suspects.

Perez said they have formed a partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) as many taggers are still in school. Another avenue that has been helpful is social media. Sites such as YouTube, Facebook, and other social sites are often where they find pictures of "work" done to identify people.

The other challenge Perez discussed was metal theft, and in particular, copper wire theft.

Another issue is the copper wire theft and metal theft, in general. They have been utilizing intelligence-led policing (ILP), a business model where data analysis and crime intelligence are used for objective, decision-making to create effective enforcement strategies targeting serious offenders. There are also detective case load issues they're experiencing, Perez said.

City of Gardena's Public Works

In 2011, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) chose the Gardena Police Department as the first law enforcement agency to have access to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's "TAGRS" graffiti system. This program incorporated the City of Gardena's Public Works graffiti abatement process with the Sheriff's "TAGRS" program. Since taggers are transient in their "Hit Ups", the new system allowed the Gardena Police Department, Gardena Public Works and LASD to document, geographically code and track taggers/crews from the Mexican Border to Ventura and San Bernardino to the beach cities. "TAGRS" will allow for multiple law enforcement agencies to share and gather intelligence on the tagger/crews and increase prosecutions.

More Articles...

Page 2 of 5