BY DEAN MOSES
The NYPD and community
members helped cleanup graffi
ti across the city April 10, one
brush stroke at a time — and
even the city’s top cop rolled up
his sleeves to help out.
Police hope to begin a clean
slate in the public eye for summer
season by working with
residents and businesses to remove
graffi ti marring private
property all over the city.
Last year, NYPD offi cials
received over 6,000 complaints
regarding rogue artists who
had tagged storefronts and
apartment buildings. Leaving
their mark with spray can after
spray can, many residents
feel as though vandals have
left much of the fi ve boroughs a
wasteland of crude caricatures
and illegible scribblings.
Using paint donated by local
businesses, the NYPD commissioner
himself, Dermot Shea,
has pledged to clean up crime —
in all of its forms. On Saturday,
he joined cops and volunteers
in repainting a graffi ti-marred
supermarket in Bushwick.
COURIER L 6 IFE, APRIL 16-22, 2021
“We have a lot of work to do
and that’s the bottom line. We
have a lot of graffi ti to clean up
and it’s the time to start rolling
up our sleeves and getting to
it,” Shea said.
The weekend cleanup took
place within the confi nes of all
77 NYPD precincts, but Shea
stopped by 454 Wyckoff Ave.
to kick-off the initiative with
members of the 83rd Precinct
and other volunteers.
With brushes and paint rollers
leaning on marred walls,
an army of both community
members and NYPD offi cers
— including many children —
were at the ready to make New
York look new again.
After a year ridden with
strife and turbulent relations
between offi cers and members
of the public following
last summer’s Black Lives Matter
protests, Shea and Chief of
Community Affairs Jeffrey B.
Maddrey believe this effort is
also a step in the right direction
in terms of strengthening
trust between the NYPD and
“Policing is always about
trust,” Shea said. “The men
and women from the New
York Police Department have
been working hand in hand
through our neighborhood policing
within the community
Likewise, Chief Maddrey,
who spent some of the morning
standing over a turntable,
showing off his DJ skills, spoke
of the importance of citizen-offi
“It’s like everything else.
When you have relationships
and you have diffi cult times,
what do you do? You get back,
you rebuild, you speak, you
work together and do things
that make a positive impact,”
he said. “That’s how you usually
Families of offi cers also
stopped by to help. Heather
Lanning and her children
wanted to show support for her
husband, Danny, who works
with the NYPD’s Community
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea with volunteers at the April 10 cleanup.
Photo by Dean Moses
Affairs Offi ce as well as taking
the time to teach her children
the importance of volunteerism.
“They are really excited to
be here and paint some graffi ti
and make the community look
a little better for everybody,”
Lanning said holding her two
sons. “It’s a good feeling to be
here with them.”
The Saturday morning
paint session was only the beginning,
said Shea, who hopes
precincts can keep the cleanups
going all summer long.
“This is the beginning and
not the end,” Shea said, requesting
that locals continue
to join in their efforts to clean
up the graffi ti. “This is not a
problem that can’t be defeated.
We just have to get to it, put are
mind to it, roll up our sleeves,
work with the community and
the businesses and we’ll get it
back to where it needed to be.”
New Yorkers are encouraged
to send photos or report
problem areas by emailing
Graffi firstname.lastname@example.org. So far, over
537 locations have been identifi
ed from community outreach.
NYPD hosts graffi ti cleanups in Brooklyn
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