Laserfiche makes it easier for this city to wipe out graffiti
The central valley city of Bakersfield, California, one of the fastest-growing large-population cities in the United States, uses Laserfiche in all 19 city departments. In addition, thousands of citizens use it to access public documents over the Web. One example of how Laserfiche helps departments work together to make life better for citizens is how Bakersfield deals with graffiti.
When a call about graffiti comes in, the goal is to get it off the street within 24 hours. The crew from the Bakersfield Department of Public Works Graffiti Unit starts by taking a picture of the graffiti. Then they record their location, how much paint they used, and how much time it took to remove the graffiti in the city’s Work Order system, which matches the information with data on labor and supply costs. The crew attaches a photograph of the graffiti to the work order and stores it in Laserfiche.
The Bakersfield Police Department goes through the records in Laserfiche and reads the graffiti. “They’ve found that graffiti taggers frequently use the same language all over town. So everywhere they find that signature ‘tag,’ they record it” as well, explains Bob Trammel, IT Director for the City of Bakersfield. “When they arrest the culprit, and in most cases it’s a kid, they search in Laserfiche for all the pictures that show that tag. Then they go back into the Work Order system and print out the cost of cleaning up all those instances of graffiti. The city files a civil lawsuit against his parents for the cost of the cleanup.”
Trammel says this system is more effective than arresting a tagger and letting him out on probation. “We had a kid who was tagging plate-glass windows with a glass cutter. Every time he did that the bill could run as much as $5000 or $6000. He could sometimes do twenty or thirty windows a night. When his parents got hit with the bill, he got hit with a curfew.”