SANTA FE (KRQE) - A hotline isn't much good if no one answers it which has been the problem at Santa Fe's Graffiti Hotline. This is frustrating those residents hit by vandals and dependent on this hotline.
Most of the time the number these residents call goes straight to voicemail and the City of Santa Fe was trying to change that, but instead got caught up in a game of Hotline Hot Potato.
Santa Fe Police Department Captain Aric Wheeler tells KRQE News 13 that the way the hotline is assigned to an individual within the department that is also assigned to a variety of tasks on a regular basis. Because of that she is not able to answer the graffiti hotline, which is why the number goes straight to voicemail.
Captain Wheeler says the employee does check the messages and proceeds to forward the information to the Parks Department, which is ultimately responsible for following up on the graffiti hotline calls and cleaning the graffiti up.
"We were trying to come up with a process that was hopefully going to make it streamlined," Captain Wheeler said.
Originally the Parks Department staffed the hotline but a few years ago SFPD took over.
Then last week it switched back on over to the Parks Department, where the calls went unanswered until this week.
But now the Police Department is taking back over the hotline because the Parks Department does not have the staff to handle the calls.
"Obviously there was some confusion that took place in that and obviously some individuals didn't get their phone calls answered," Captain Wheeler said. "We're going to continue to man that line and hopefully it doesn't fall on deaf ears again."
Captain Wheeler says they've seen a huge spike in graffiti over the last 30 days, but they're not sure what's behind the increase.
The original reason police took over the hotline a few years ago was so they could create a database of the graffiti to hopefully catch the vandals and charge them, making them pay for the damage and cleanup.
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