Police say they’re behind the spike in graffiti complaints in Sheepshead Bay

Your tag is showing! Sheepshead Bay graffiti complaints up amid police initiative

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Blame the police for an explosion of graffiti complaints in Sheepshead Bay.

Reports of illicit scribbles in the 61st Precinct jumped 166 percent — from 91 in 2014 to 242 in 2015 — because the command’s new top cop is instructing his men and women to adhere to the old New York stand-by “If you see something, say something,” according to a local pol.

“It’s not as bad as the reports show, because a lot of the reports were generated by the 61st Precinct,” said Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay). “This approach is a proactive approach sending out cops to find graffiti and then a report is generated to get it removed.”

Capt. Winston Faison, who took command of the 61st Precinct in July, sends his officers and members of the New York Police Department Explorers — a program designed to teach 14–20-year-olds about law enforcement — onto the streets to look for graffiti. When the folks in blue find unwelcome doodles, they submit a report and Midwood Development Corporation — the company contracted to erase the graffiti — hits the streets and removes it.

Locals are split whether the graffiti writers have become more prolific in the last year.

“My personal observation is that it doesn’t seem to me to a be a serious increase,” said Maurice Kolodon, a community board member who has lived in Sheepshead Bay for 50 years and said graffiti has become a community problem over the last decade.

But an area rogue has been scribbling politically charged messages around the neighborhood that urge readers to “kill Obama” and accuse local pols of being communists, and the uncapped vandal is showing no signs of slowing down, another local said.

“It’s progressively gotten worse, and I’m kind of surprised nobody has caught him yet,” said Camberley Torres, who has lived in Sheepshead Bay for eight years.

Police are investigating the politically charged chicanery, Deutsch said.

Defacement in general is lowering locals’ estimation of the neighborhood, but Kolodon said he’s confident there’s still a good nabe lurking under all that spray paint.

“It’s always one of those topics — ‘Is the area going downhill? They can’t stop graffiti,’” he said. “Sheepshead Bay is a good neighborho­od.”

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511.

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