Graffiti cover-up becomes a mission -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Graffiti cover-up becomes a mission

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They fight crime in a passive way: with paint and chemicals.

They call themselves Tyler Against Graffiti, and they are just a couple of people whose goal is to keep Tyler beautiful.

We spotted them taking it off and covering it up.

Franklin Burns has a mission. Actually he has more than one since he's a missionary, but when he's off duty, he's on duty with a bucket of paint and chemical spray.

"We just paint squares and try to make it look like something," Franklin said as he rolled over some recent graffiti.

He's been in this business since 2006.

"If you leave it other gangs will come and try to cover up theirs," he said.

"And my wife, she's using a pretty high chemical there. Doris is trying to scrub that off. It looks like maybe it would be best if we could scrub that off instead of putting paint on it. Playground equipment, my lord, she cleans the playground equipment all the time," Franklin revealed.

Sometimes they let it soak in and finish the job later.

"We don't charge, but you do have to sign affidavits giving us permission to come on your property and take care of it," stated Franklin.

"It seems like somebody has just gone through and just hit every place that's downtown here the last couple of day or so," he observed.

He collects images before he erases the paint, and shares them with police. Sometimes he regrets his work a little bit.

"I have come across some graffiti that's really colorful in design; I've got some eagles and some birds and such as that that was really nice looking. I've even had some that have said, 'can you leave that?' Like on a bridge or something, and I say no I can't leave it, I have to take it off there," he laughed.

Franklin thinks if the graffiti falls into the category of artwork it would be better all the way around if it were committed to canvas.

Often businesses will install security cameras after vandalism takes place.

If you need to report graffiti contact Keep Tyler Beautiful.

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