Policy guidance for Arlington County Department of Environmental Services staff as of July 16, 2020.
County Staff performing graffiti sign removal duties on public property will:
• Respond to graffiti/unauthorized sign complaints within three work days, or as soon thereafter as feasible if a response within three work days is impracticable due to reasons such as inclement weather, unavailability of personnel, etc. In no circumstance shall the content of the graffiti or unauthorized sign be the reason for a delayed response. Prioritize responses to profanity, while still responding to all graffiti and unauthorized complaints within the time period stated above.
• Remove all graffiti/unauthorized signs reported regardless of content or message, or medium (paint, chalk, plastic, paper, etc.). County Staff shall not remove any graffiti/unauthorized signs from private property, even when requested or authorized by the property owner.
• When graffiti is in front of a residence or can otherwise be inferred to be associated with a residence, staff will attempt to communicate directly with residents about the Graffiti Removal Policy at least one day prior to removing the graffiti.
• If staff is unable to communicate directly with the resident about removing the graffiti associated with their home, they will leave an information pamphlet and remove the graffiti.
• Report suspected gang-related graffiti to ACPD for further investigation as appropriate.
Employees with questions or concerns about this policy or any particular assignment are empowered to bring their concerns to management for discussion prior to implementing any graffiti removal activities. Employees should be sensitive to the impacts that their actions have on the community.
Additionally, employees may practice judgment on the effective use of resources when it comes to the permanence of the medium used to create the graffiti. For example, sidewalk chalk or traditional stick chalk is easily and quickly removed by rain. To conserve labor resources employees and supervisors may exercise judgment in removal of stick chalk particularly when rain is forecast. By contrast, the more persistent paint-like products such as spray chalk and roller chalk products will be promptly removed as outlined above.