MCKINLEY PARK — Hate gang signs and love cash?
A new Southwest Side program could be for you.
Ald. George Cardenas (12th) is offering a one-time $500 cash reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals associated with graffiti tagging crews.
Here's how it works:
Residents who spot suspected taggers must call 911 and report new graffiti to the 12th Ward Public Service office by calling 773-523-8250. If an arrest and conviction is made, the tipsters gets the reward.
"We'll be working with police departments, the 911 system and appropriate city departments to make sure it's a valid tip," said Cardenas spokeswoman Anabel Abarcas.
The 12th ward includes portions of the McKinley Park, Brighton Park, Little Village and Back of the Yards neighborhoods.
Cardenas said taggings have become eyesores that have "taken over the neighborhood," leading to a crackdown that's included meetings with Streets and Sanitation commissioner Charles Williams and the purchase of special graffiti remover that can be used when the city's removal measures fail in bitterly cold weather.
"We should not have to tolerate it. Homeowners and businesses deserve to have their buildings free of graffiti," the alderman said in a statement.