Gang-related graffiti has marred the front of a public outreach building in south Bossier.
Messages and symbols have been sprayed across the Sacred Inspirational Source Ministries on Fullilove Drive in Bossier City’s Barksdale Annex neighborhood.
Similar graffiti also covers private fences, street signs, and playground equipment near the Community Renewal Friendship House. The vandalism has also been spotted in the Central Park area off Barksdale Boulevard.
“We were made aware of it last week and while it is gang-type graffiti, there has been no gang violence in the area,” said Mark Natale, public information officer for the Bossier City Police Department.
However, he did say police are stepping up patrols as a proactive measure.
“We’re not seeing criminal related activity — we want to monitor activity and act as a deterrent. We’re utilizing other units to assist such as traffic division in patrol vehicles instead of motorcycles,” Natale explained.
This lack of activity leads to suspicions that the graffiti is the work of pranksters.
“It’s possible,” said Natale. “In cases like this involving graffiti, it can be difficult to catch someone unless they’re in the act.”
Officials could give no estimate on the damage caused by the graffiti.
However, the city does have a blight ordinance that is violated by the property tagged by the spray paint. The ministry was issued a letter requiring the graffiti to be cleaned up within 10 days or face a $150 fine.
“We have to treat it like any other property nuisance that can affect property values. Our property standards will alert the (home or business) and give notice of time to resolve the problem,” said Natale.
He did state that due to the nature of the work done by the ministry and the rare occurrence of the problem that the city is working with them to find a solution without any undue hardship to the owners.
“They’re trying to make the neighborhood a better place and then this happens. It’s a sad situation,” said Natale. “So the city wants to work with them to get it resolved.”
Police are asking the public to come forward with any information it might have on the vandals. They are encouraged to call Bossier Crimestoppers at (318) 424-4100.