, Shelton officials have been responding to complaints of excessive graffiti in the downtown area, particularly along the Riverwalk and by the Birmingham condominium building. While encourage the use of surveillance cameras, other ideas for dealing with the problem were discussed at the Citizens Advisory Board's May meeting.
According to meeting minutes, police chief Joel Hurliman reported that arrests made in relation to graffiti have had little impact in the courts, making the need for neighborhood watch systems and security personnel more urgent. The Birmingham residents have bought their own video surveillance system that is monitored by their association president.
"My idea was that we paint over it or clean it rather quickly. The easiest thing to do is to paint over it and the state does a pretty good job at it," Hurliman said.
He added that Birmingham tenants can speed up the process by approaching the state themselves and getting clearance to paint over graffiti, but that Shelton officials are more keen on cleaning it off altogether.
The Board also suggested calling on the Lower Naugatuck Valley Arts Council about "controlled graffiti," the idea being that if something nice was already painted on city property, it might deter vandals from spraying surfaces.
"They looked at research about some areas where people put up walls and let them do really artistic graffiti and supposedly that has an effect if it’s really nice," Hurliman said. "If we had some walls put up where people could that, it would certainly be an interesting."
, the CT Post reported that new graffiti was discovered on light poles along the Riverwalk and the Shelton Farmer's Market building. Alderman John "Jack" Finn, who submitted the pictures in the media gallery, said many city officials were "outraged by it."
"Now it's months later and there still hasn't been a real effort to remedy the situation," Finn said. He added that he feels there should be more urgency in the matter, given the fact that the downtown area will soon be expanding with the addition of the 250-unit Avalon apartment complex and continued revitalization efforts.
How should the city go about taking care of existing graffiti and deterring vandals from further crime?