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Two young volunteers helping to clean up graffiti.

Enhancing pride in Indy’s neighborhoods: one square foot at a time.

By Dane Nutty
Published July 12, 2018

Launched in 2015, the Graffiti Abatement Unit (GAU) is an innovative, public-private partnership between the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Indianapolis Fire Department, Indy Public Safety Foundation, EmployIndy, MIBOR REALTOR® Association and RecycleForce. Since its inception, the GAU has removed over 60,000 square feet of graffiti – all of which at no cost to home or business owners.

Above: A member of the GAU crew uses the power washer to remove graffiti from an abandoned building.

The GAU Crew is led by a light duty IMPD police oofficer, who provides project direction, support and mentorship. The GAU crew is staffed by RecycleForce, a social enterprise delivering comprehensive and innovative recycling services in support of workforce training, development and job placement for formerly incarcerated men and women transitioning back to society. Through a rotation with the GAU crew, participants learn valuable skills in inventory management, maintenance, painting and more.

“Removing Graffiti aligns perfectly with RecycleForce’s mission for a cleaner environment and a stronger workforce,” said Gregg Keesling, RecycleForce President. “This partnership not only provides additional training but also allows our participants an opportunity to give back to some of the same neighborhoods in which they may have committed crimes.”

The GAU has several main goals:

  • Remove graffiti for residents and business owners;
  • Enhance hope and pride in Indy neighborhoods;
  • Engage formerly incarcerated youth ages 18 to 22 with law enforcement and public safety; and
  • Provide meaningful workforce development and job readiness skills training.

Graffiti is a public nuisance and contributes to crime in neighborhoods throughout Indianapolis. We’re proud to be part of a program that not only addresses this issue, but also provides opportunities for individuals re-entering our community after incarceration.
— Randal Taylor, IMPD Assistant Chief of Police

We need your help! Report graffiti to the Graffiti Abatement Unit

To report graffiti, call the Mayor’s Action Center at 317-327-4MAC (4622) or tweet a photo and information to @IndyPSFdn. Contributions to the Indy Public Safety Foundation help support innovative programs such as the Graffiti Abatement Unit. To learn more about how you can support public safety in Indy, visit our donation portal.

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