by Diane Tuazon
ANDREWS - Taking a stroll down a neighborhood in Andrews and seeing graffiti is not something the Chief of Police wants in his town.
"This affects the quality of life because it's very degrading for elderly people to see vulgar language, they don't need to see that, and it just degrades the community," Andrews Police Chief, Bud Jones, said.
The Andrews Police Department along with county and city employees are keeping an eye out for anyone painting the town with graffiti, and if you're caught, they're not taking it lightly.
"It's a class B misdemeanor at the least, and could be a third degree felony depending on the amount of damage and the cost of removing it," Jones said.
Chief Jones says while graffiti is not a huge problem in the community, he still wants people to know to help crack down on anyone vandalizing the neighborhood.
"If they're over 10 years old, they'll be handled in juvenile court. The parents can be held accountable and pay restitution by the court, and we've had fairly good success with that," Jones said.
For city workers, cleaning up the graffiti takes more effort than you think.
"We use sandblaster or try to match the paint to cover the graffiti. It takes away from our other duties. We have to stop what we're doing to take care of that. It's extra work for us," City of Andrews Utilities Manager, Burt Lopez, said.
Just because they don't catch vandals in the act, police still have a way of tracking them down.
"We take a snap shot of the graffiti that way we have some sort of signature on file," Jones said.
"If it happens at night, we hear about it the next day. Police department calls and we take care of it," Lopez said.