Responding to public outcry over the graffiti blanketing Brentwood and Central Islip, town and county officials are unveiling new anti-graffiti initiatives.
The neighboring communities have seen an escalation in gang violence over the past year, prompting increased police and FBI presence. Some of the tags blanketing fences, homes and businesses here are the mark of gangs, authorities said.
At a news conference in Brentwood Thursday, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy said the county would supply paint, at a "nominal" cost, and coordinate volunteers provided by local nonprofits and civic groups. An officer from the Suffolk Police Department's third precinct, Nancy Quattrociocchi, has been assigned to document and investigate graffiti and coordinate its removal.
Meanwhile, the Town of Islip is set to unveil a new $150,000 graffiti removal truck purchased through a New York State grant secured by state Sen. Brian X. Foley (D- Islip, Brookhaven, Fire Island).
The truck, ordered on Jan. 28, is currently being outfitted with power-washing and paint-matching equipment and should be ready in a few weeks, town spokeswoman Amy Basta said.
The town in December set stricter penalties for those who make graffiti as well as property owners who fail to respond to a notice of violation by removing the graffiti or filing a waiver allowing the town to do so.
Volunteers from Pronto of Long Island Thursday painted over white tags marking the green fence of Island Recycling Solutions on Pine Aire Drive in Bay Shore.
Over the past six months, the company has repainted the fence four times, said operations manager Robert Velocci.
Dipping a roller into a can of Exterior America's Finest New England Green paint, volunteer William King, 46, of Central Islip, said: "I don't think it's right. It's not good for the community. It's everywhere."