Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Saint Louis Park public works employee uses web to catch graffiti taggers.

He doesn't want the spotlight but a Saint Louis Park Public Works employee has made it his mission to help apprehend graffiti taggers.

Saint Louis Park created a software program called GraffitiNet. It allows cities to catalog one tagger's work across city lines. The program not only helps catch taggers, but can helps make them responsible for damage done in more than one location. Member cities all contribute to the database giving law enforcement a wider view of a tagger's chosen turf. When a tagger is caught, they can be linked to all their work, not just the most recent graffiti.

One Saint Louis Park Public Works employee takes the search a step further. After photographing and inputting information into the system, he searches the web for matching images, he then scans the image for any distinguishing feature or landmark that would help identify the tags location. If he recognizes a location, and confirms the existence of the tag, he hands that information over to police who can then identify the tagger through their unique internet service provider information.

By combining a web search with a detailed knowledge of Saint Louis Park, the city has made several arrests leading to misdemeanor and felony charges.


Taken from: KSTP

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