hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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October 10, 2013

Keeping it clean

Sheriff's graffiti crew makes repeat visits to city

It’s been a repeat image in the city toward the end of this summer.

Men holding high-powered hoses that target graffiti.

The Sheriff Department’s graffiti removal truck has been in Haverhill several times in the last two months to clean areas that were tagged with painted letters and symbols.

The effort is to remove the markings so they don’t attract even more graffiti.

The most recent effort focused on black metal railings on the Comeau Bridge, retaining walls near the Bradford commuter train station, a guard rail in that area and concrete stairs at the public library.

A trained crew of three workers supervised by Sgt. Christopher of the Essex County Sheriff’s Department spent nearly a full work day in Haverhill recently at the request of the city’s Highway Department.

It was the sixth or seventh time this year that the anti-graffiti unit from the Sheriff’s Department came to the city to remove graffiti.

Police said that allowing graffiti to linger tends to attract more graffiti, so the best way to combat the problem is by having it removed as soon as possible.

That’s where the anti-graffiti crew comes in. It is available to all communities in Essex County that request the services.

“We basically spent the whole day in that area,’’ Goudreault said about the Bradford side of the Comeau Bridge during the crew’s last visit to Haverhill. “There was quite a bit of tagging to remove.’’

David Van Dam, chief of staff to Mayor James Fiorentini, said any time graffiti and tagging is reported, the city responds to it quickly by reaching out to the Sheriff’s Department.

“Usually within five days or less they respond and at no cost to the city,” Van Dam said. “The only limitation is they can’t use the spray in the winter as it can freeze.

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