New Plan to Help With Graffiti Problems - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Plan to Help With Graffiti Problems

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Yakima, WASH - Walls, dumpsters, mail boxes and signs continue to be tagged with graffiti. Now Yakima County is sending a message by increasing the capacity at the juvenile detention center.

"They're going to be held accountable now. I think they better understand if they want to do graffiti they're coming to detention," says Harold Delia, Yakima County Court Administrator.  

If caught doing graffiti in Yakima County, juveniles will be brought to the detention center right away.   The county commisioners passed $165,000 Tuesday to open a brand new pod in the detention center.  Fourteen more beds will be available and six more detention officers will be hired.

"It will also allow police officers to be more aggressive in terms of arresting and detaining kids so i think we're uping the anti a little bit on these graffiti kids," says Delia.

Currently when someone is caught doing graffiti they are given a citation and the police officer calls their parents.

Now they will always be taken in the detention center and will spend time there.

The county also hopes this plan will reduce other gang activities.

"Once you have gang tagging or gangs designing an area they own, what you get is turf battles between gangs, which leads to violence. We're going to try and eliminate that too," Delia explains.

When juveniles are brought to the detention center they will also have to set a time to go clean up their graffiti.

The county says with this new program, people will start to see a lot less graffiti around town by the end of this summer.