Battle against Amarillo vandals begins

NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - You may notice some major changes around Amarillo after this weekend.

That's because the campaign to cleanup the city kicks off tomorrow with "Take Back the Wall Day."

It's a mission to make Amarillo graffiti-free, and it starts now.

Mayor Paul Harpole says, "Sometimes people drive by graffiti and it doesn't impact them. We want it to impact them. We want them to know we are supporting removal."

At least 50 locations have been designated for cleanup, per request of the property owners themselves.

Take Back the Wall Coordinator Blair Harris says, "We are hoping this will get the ball rolling and get people to start paying attention to graffiti. We hope they will clean up their own properties, and take pride in their neighborhoods, so that our area looks cleaner and safer. There's less crime in areas when it doesn't appear that something has already occurred there."

Dozens of Amarillo officials and volunteers will be out with pressure washers and paint, literally scrubbing away the graffiti that plagues the city.

It's a task that won't be easy, but will be well worth it.

Harris explains, "A lot of people are going to be surprised at what a mess it is and how hard it is to get off. It's not something you can just take off in 10 minutes. You have to really put a lot of work into it."

But the work isn't done after tomorrow, cleaning up Amarillo's vandalism is an ongoing job.

Harpole explains, "We will probably have about $200,000 in the budget every year to take care of graffiti. It's sad, but it's necessary. It will go on, but if we can lock some people up over this and we can punish them for doing it, they will see the consequences of their crime and understand it's not a prank."       

If you would like to help Amarillo take back it's property from graffiti taggers, meet at City Hall at 9 AM tomorrow.

Everything you need will be provided, including lunch.