Residents band together to clean up graffiti in Phoenix neighbor

Residents band together to clean up graffiti in Phoenix neighborhoods

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PHOENIX -

The city of Phoenix is reaching out to residents to help clean-up graffiti.

The program has been around for nearly 20 years. Continuing the tradition, a new group was trained on Saturday morning.

Armed with a gun, Mariancia Torres took a shot at removing graffiti from a canal near Osborn and 35th Avenue.

"We don't want that in our neighborhood. We want to get that message out there to the kids that we see their graffiti, we're going to cover it up," said Torres.

Torres was one of nearly a dozen local residents being trained to use a paint sprayer, a weapon that helps fight defacement.

"I personally have knocked out 600 already this year in our one block area," said Jim Fortune.

Graffiti busters are a gang of sorts that aim to help the neighborhood services department clean up.
    
According to foreman Adela Torres, it's a way for locals to get involved and make a noticeable difference.

"When we have neighborhoods, residents in the neighborhoods that want to help eliminate the blight in their own neighborhood, that's enormous help," said Torres.

Once residents complete the class, they receive a card that indicates they have been trained to use the sprayer. Then, they can go to the graffiti busters warehouse and check out a sprayer to use for an entire weekend.

"It's a great thing and hopefully the more resources we can bring back the more opportunity we can have for people to participate too," said Patra Carroll.

The city also supplies the paint, rollers and other tools needed.

Along with the knowledge they picked up on Saturday, these students know they're ready to fight.

The next class will be offered on March 23.

For more information: www.graffitibustersnsd.phoenix.gov.

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