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Gang tags are tough to beat

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

October 9, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Police, volunteers, and city officials continue to battle gang graffiti. But they say after a year it is still an on going problem.  After volunteers paint over gang marks on walls, bold gang bangers come back to mark their turf again.

Signs from three different gangs on the same alley wall in the 700 Block of Pine Avenue worries police. You can see where the Graffiti Removal Committee painted over a gang sign, but the South Crip Gangsters came back and spray painted their sign again.

Just yards away, the CME Rattlers, short for Crime, Murder, and Execution makes their presence known. And just under that, Folks Disciples, for a third gang is also scrawled on the same wall.

City Commissioner John Howard said "When you got three different gangs desecrating a wall, it means they are sending a signal to another gang, is that don't touch my territory or touch my turf. And it can escalate into some kind of violence in the weeks to come."

Most troubling, the gang members are bold enough to do this right next door to the Albany Dougherty Drug Unit headquarters. For the last year about a half dozen volunteers have gone around Albany painting over gang graffiti, but they say the gang problem continues.

 "You can see it's been painted in the past. As soon as you paint over it, they will come back. Statistics tell you the quicker you paint over, the better it will be, in hoping it will sort of discourage their coming back doing the same thing,"  Howard said.

When they spot graffiti, Police inform Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful, and their volunteer team paints over it. But they say after a year of effort, gang graffiti is still an on going problem.

Police say you can help fight gangs in Albany. When you see gang graffiti, call the Police or Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful and report it. They will take pictures of it for gang investigators, then paint over it.

They also need donations to pay for paint, because they have been using a lot of it. You can call Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful at 430-5257.

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