Recently, some gang graffiti showed up on a recently painted fence in our neighborhood near Snow School. Twice every day, Snow and Harvest students pass that location near a Vine bus stop. A few days later, the graffiti had been crossed out and the rival gang's name was tagged over it.
Having had a lot of experience with the gang problem in Napa County, (I was police chief from 1987 until 2004), I was concerned because my experience tells me that cross outs are the ultimate in disrespect to a gang's claim on a neighborhood. In the past and in many other communities, violence follows the cross out.
I contacted Chief Steve Potter of the Napa Police Department to let him know my concerns. I wasn't sure if the graffiti removal program started during my term as police chief was still active. Turns out it is, and Chief Potter alerted them to the tagging. By the next morning, Jeff Folks and his crew at Public Works not only removed it, they matched the fence color perfectly.
Point of this letter is to let the community know that they should immediately report graffiti whenever they see it by calling the Graffiti Hotline at 257-9528. Don't let gangs claim your neighborhood.
Secondly, I wanted to publicly thank Chief Potter and Jeff Folks and crew for being so accessible and responsive. I know there are skeptics out there who will think that this only happened so efficiently because a former police chief called the current police chief, but I honestly don't think that is the case. I know Steve Potter, and I believe he would have responded the same if I was an unknown regular citizen. We are fortunate to have his leadership at the police department.