On North Tower Avenue. / Courtesy Centralia Police Department
By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
Centralia police are paying cash money to try to nip a budding gang tagging issue around town.
Officers are seeing an increase in graffiti being attributed to the presence of an emerging gang, according to the Centralia Police Department.
Police Chief Bob Berg describes the problem this way:
Graffiti posted by one gang is a challenge to rival gangs, who will then cross out each other’s graffiti as a sign of disrespect. This leads to retaliation, which often leads to violence between gangs as they struggle for dominance and control of a given area.
The violence can result in everything from additional vandalism, to fights and even drive by shootings, Berg says.
Berg says the new gang, calling itself the Tiny Dukes, is attempting to expand its influence in the area and also recruiting young people.
He wants to stop it before it grows and becomes a significant problem.
Police are asking for the public’s help by reporting any tagging as soon as its spotted, especially good is to call 911 while a tagger is still in the act. The chief wants folks to report any suspicious activity, even if seems insignificant, especially if it involves young people fighting, and even partying, he says.
The police department is willing to pay up to $250 for information leading to the arrest for any individual posting graffiti on public or private property.
The amount paid out will vary in part based on its timeliness, and quality of evidence offered, according to Berg.
“We’re hoping to get some takers on it,” he said.