PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is renewing his efforts to address vandalism and graffiti in the capital city.
Elorza picked up a power washer Wednesday and helped the Graffiti Task Force blast spray paint off surfaces along Westminster Street.
“We want to remind folks that graffiti is illegal and we will not tolerate it,” Elorza said. “If somebody is caught in the act, they will be held accountable.”
The renewed push comes just days after a monument dedicated to nine Rhode Island Marines was vandalized.
The Graffiti Task Force was established several years ago to bolster the city’s response to graffiti and vandalism complaints.
“It is our priority to ensure that Providence is looking as well as it possibly can,” Elorza said. “This is something we are constantly addressing.”
Thanks to the Graffiti Task Force, the mayor said nearly 95% of graffiti reports are addressed within seven days.
Elorza acknowledged that not all of the complaints can be addressed immediately, such as graffiti that equipment can’t reach or is located on private property.
The mayor also encouraged residents to report graffiti using the PVD311 mobile app.
“Often times we see something — we see it day in and day out — and we get frustrated that it’s still there,” Elorza said. “But sometimes the city has no way of knowing it’s there unless folks are calling in and letting us know.”
The city launched the PVD311 app in 2016. Since then, Elorza said the city has received and addressed more than 4,000 complaints pertaining to graffiti.