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Graffiti Removal Scaled Back Under Mayor’s Budget

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Graffiti Artist

A grafitti artist works on a tag at the foot of the main tower, topped by a radar dome, of a former US National Security Agency (NSA)-run listening station on top of the Teufelsberg (German for Devil’s Mountain) in western Berlin’s Gruenewald forest during a guided tour of the facility May 8, 2011. (Credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The City of Chicago reportedly is moving more slowly these days to get rid of gang graffiti.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the Graffiti Blasters program was one of retired Mayor Richard M. Daley’s pet projects, mobilizing crews to remove graffiti quickly from the sides of buildings and garages.

But the Chicago Sun-Times reports under Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s budget, the Graffiti Blasters program has been cut by 25 percent. The staff is down to 49 workers – 23 fewer than last year – and they are on pace to remove less graffiti this year than last year, the newspaper reported.

Dipesh Kakshapaty, manager of Cumin restaurant at 1414 N. Milwaukee Ave. in the Wicker Park neighborhood, tells the Sun-Times the city used to blast off the gang graffiti within a week. Now he says it is taking longer.

Under what is known as the “broken windows” theory, some criminologists argue that tolerating minor problems in a neighborhood such as vandalism and graffiti leads to much more serious crime, the Sun-Times reported.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

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