In early 2005, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw established the Graffiti Eradication Program. Essentially, the program is designed to rapidly respond to any report of graffiti within Palm Beach County and clean it up. It provides no-cost graffiti removal for affected commercial, residential, and industrial properties. Graffiti is either pressure cleaned or painted over by deputy-supervised inmates. All reports of graffiti are reviewed by a detective for potential criminal intelligence and future prosecution.
PBSO cares about our neighborhoods and businesses, which is why we like to keep our streets clean. The more graffiti there is, the louder the message, “nobody cares,” spreads. Extensive research confirms disorder and disobedience grows where rules are openly flouted, a phenomenon call “The Broken Window Theory.” This theory says if there are broken windows or disorder, it will lead to more disorder and degrading of a neighborhood and businesses. Simply stated, people become more disobedient in environments plagued by litter and graffiti. Not to mention, graffiti is often the first sign of gangs in the area, which will reduce visitors and patrons to businesses.
A community’s first step in taking back its streets is getting rid of graffiti immediately. The quicker we can identify and remove graffiti, the less likely there will be a recurrence. This power struggle cannot be won overnight, but persistent communities and businesses working in partnership with law enforcement almost always emerge as victors.