I was out watering my garden last night and heard some commotion coming from down the street by the railroad bridge down the street. Since things happen there all the time I figured I'd go check it out and see what was going on. I walked down the street in time to see two undercover police cars pulled up and officers putting two teenage boys in handcuffs. I looked over and saw fresh and really crappy tagging covering the entire side of the metal building by the tracks that has been hit pretty bad lately. They were busting the kids whose crew the task force had been tracking around the area. They happened to get a tip from one of my neighbors and were able to catch these 14 year olds in the act.
The officers were very professional, and handled the situation really well. I saw the guy pictured above talking to one of the kids, and heard him explain how stupid this was for them to do, and they were going to be punished. He never raised his voice or yelled, but he definitely was getting his point across.
After they got the kids in the cars I asked Officer Matt some questions about the taggers. He said they were tracking quite a few crews and were using tips to bust these guys who ranged in age from 12 to 30. They were keeping busy this summer and trying to get the word out that they were going to be punished for what they were doing. Officer Matt was really cool, and even gave me his number in case I had more questions or noticed other tagging going up. I guess they keep records of the various tags, and can tell which ones are gang related, which is kind of scary. There's definitely a difference between some of the really good graffiti that I've seen over by the train tracks, and the stupid taggers who are basically just pissing on people's walls. They usually tag over the good stuff, which sucks.
It was nice to know that there are some really good police out there and that they are trying to crack down on the growing problem, which seems to be hitting SE pretty bad.