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‘Operation G.R.A.P.E.’ targets graffiti in Dayton

Dayton police officers, city of Dayton employees and community volunteers painted over graffiti in several locations on Saturday.

Operation G.R.A.P.E. (Graffiti Removal and Property Enhancement) worked to paint over or clean up graffiti in at least six locations around downtown Dayton.

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“I don’t only work in the city, I live in the city, so we want to maintain it,” said Dayton police Sgt. Gordon Cairns, who was helping on his day off. “When people come down and visit, we want them to say it is a clean city and it looks nice.”

Central Patrol Operations Division officers also planned to clean up some vacant lots and overgrown areas.

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“It’s about claiming unclaimed spaces, said Bryan Stewart, a legislative aide for the city. “We’re going to go after and sometimes put up public art. Other times it is about simply covering up a curse word.”

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The targeted graffiti areas were at Monument and I-75, East First and Meigs, Jefferson Street and Route 35, South Main Street between Washington and Fifth, East Third Street and Sears and a blue building at Jackson and Gates.

Volunteers said they hope to gather quarterly to clean, and they may hire a local artist to paint some buildings.

“If you notice people tagging, call the police at the non-emergency number,” Cairns said. “Let us know and we’ll do our best to get the graffiti cleaned up as fast as possible.”

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