Mayor plans to bring Graffiti Task Force back after Channel 11 does story on graffiti problems

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PITTSBURGH —

After Channel 11 aired a story about graffiti problems in Pittsburgh on Thursday, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said on Friday he plans to bring back the Graffiti Task Force.

“On Monday, we will be bringing back the Graffiti Task Force.  Our first officer will be assigned to the Investigations Unit.  It’s my goal to have a second officer by next spring,” said Peduto.

A year ago, Acting Police Chief Regina McDonald eliminated the task force because she said she didn’t have the manpower.   Now she said she does.

“I’m comfortable with the fact that we have sufficient staffing on the streets, and with the addition to our recruit class, I’m comfortable with the fact that we have sufficient staffing on the streets, and with the addition to our recruit class, I’m comfortable with it,” said McDonald.

“I guess I’m too old to relate to any of this, but it’s just the destruction, and I don’t think it’s right,” Joseph Pijannowski told Courtney Brennan Thursday night.

Pijannowski said his Little Debbie delivery truck seems to be a magnet for graffiti.  He recently painted over the graffiti, and three days later, the truck was targeted again.

Pijanowski was told to let his insurance company handle it.  He said Thursday that's a short-term fix, and it doesn't solve the problem.

“I had inspectors come down and give me a hard time because I had graffiti on my property.