Detroit task force to address graffiti, target taggers

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Graffiti artists have turned much of Detroit into their canvas, tagging everything from street signs to buildings. Now, there is an effort underway to curb their illegal ways.

Steve Rotenberg operates Motown Foods in Detroit's Eastern Market, a popular backdrop for graffiti artists. 

He has given up on trying to fight the vandalism. "I was asked to pay out of pocket, and it's quite expensive," said Rotenberg. 

Soon, the taggers took over. That is, until an artist from Spain offered his talents for free and left a masterpiece behind. "It's a respect issue," said Rotenberg. "No one goes over it and this is really pretty art."

Most graffiti isn't so pretty to look at. Much of it is a rude form of art with a negative image attached. 

"Graffiti is one of those quality of life issues," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig. "It gives the impression the city is unsafe and if we don't do anything with graffiti, it just brings about other criminal behavior."

Chief Craig and city leaders are working together to form a task force to target the taggers.

"I'm excited to work with the Mayor on this because it will change Detroit and how Detroit looks," said Chief Craig.

Details of the task force are still be worked out but it's expected to be in place in the near future.

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