A handful of volunteers gathered early Friday morning to kick off the first day of an initiative to clean up graffiti in the downtown area.
The program seeks to erase or paint over graffiti between 19th and 25th streets from Harborside Drive to Church Street, said officer Edward Coronado, who is heading the cleaning campaign.
On Friday, the volunteers covered about two blocks, where there was more graffiti to clean than he expected, Coronado said.
“There was graffiti behind Dumpsters and trash cans and there was a lot of it on trash cans,” Coronado said.
The volunteers seek to rid the area of tags and stickers, they said. The tags and stickers will help police prepare to determine who the culprits are, Coronado said.
“In order for us to finally file charges, we have to see it ourselves,” Coronado said.
Officers plan to install video surveillance in certain hot spots where graffiti often returns, he said.
Ridding the area of graffiti is important to the way the island is perceived by visitors and residents, Coronado said.
“It’s good to see the downtown community really cares about what it looks like and want to improve it down here and make a better product,” Coronado said.
The city isn’t spending any money on the program because all the materials are donated, Coronado has said. The volunteers won’t be removing street art that was created with permission of property owners, he has said.