The New London Police Department and the community are arming themselves with paint to keep the city graffiti-free.
New London Police Crime Prevention Officer Ryan Soccio designed the “Graffiti-Free New London” program.
“Graffiti is not an art form. It’s vandalism,” Soccio said.
It’s a team-up with the city’s building department, New London Campus Coalition, New London Youth Affairs and youth volunteers who will target graffiti and remove it.
“[Youth] are part of this. They’re part of the fabric. And a lot of the time, they may know who’s doing the tagging,” Soccio said.
Graffiti in the city is at times profane, sometimes gang-related and destroying someone else’s property or property value, according to Soccio.
“It breeds the idea that no one cares about a neighborhood, about a community,” Soccio said.
Anyone can report graffiti to the New London Blight Officer at 860-447-5240 or Soccio at 860-440–6673. They’ll make a list of vandalized properties and volunteers will paint-over or remove the tagging for free.
Through a grant, Home Depot will supply all of the paint, rollers and supplies. The work will take place in the spring and summer.
The significance of this kind of program is something even young kids in the neighborhood understand.
“They think it’s cool to put stuff everywhere and think it’s funny. Some people are too young to see that stuff,” fifth-grader Allie Holmes said.
“The older people have a reflect on the younger people and then over generations they keep doing it. Their behavior is reflecting on other people,” Zion Connor added.