Before the city of Patterson, California, began partnering with Comcate to track graffiti cases, the workload was paper-intensive. When an instance of graffiti was reported, it had to be recorded on a form, with a copy of a photo attached for police reference. It required time, paper and labor to complete the reporting process for the 800 to 900 cases of graffiti each year.
In the past six years, however, the city of Patterson has been using Comcate’s mobile app to manage graffiti cases. In that time, tagging has increased twofold, but the city is managing the caseload with the same number of staff members. With the mobile app, the city has been able to dramatically cut the amount of paperwork required to manage a case.
Now, there are approximately 1,900 annual tagging cases. The city of Patterson manages them with same-day response. In 2013, Comcate assisted the city in managing over 33,000 square feet of graffiti abatement.
The City of Patterson Graffiti Abatement Officer says that even though the city is handling double the number of graffiti cases, citizens say that there is no problem with graffiti in their community. There truly is no problem, says the Abatement Officer, because the city is addressing problems so quickly, usually with same-day response. Citizens often do not have time to report the graffiti before the city is addressing the issue.
Since implementing the mobile app from Comcate, the city of Patterson is able to track tagging activity more clearly. The city can even tell which tagging crews are doing the most tagging, and they are then able to determine patterns of tagging around the community.
The city of Patterson caught two of the most prominent taggers in the area and were able to assess the damages and clean-up costs. That led to the recovery of several thousands of dollars of abatement based on the prosecution of the tagger and the required time and expense to remediate the location.
The City of Patterson Graffiti Abatement Officer says that Comcate’s mobile apps are easy to use, even for agency employees that may not be computer-savvy. The city of Patterson manages cases with a laptop and a small camera in the field, followed by a quick stop in the office to download photos and manage cases. Other staff members utilize tablets to access code enforcement in the field.
The City of Patterson Graffiti Abatement Officer says that Comcate is an excellent program and has been very effective for the city of Patterson.