By Lindsay Carey
The Town Council recently voted unanimously to offer $200, the maximum reward, for information leading to a conviction of the vandal responsible for the recent tagging of the newly paved Berlin Avenue.
The maximum reward for information is typically $200, but Town Manager Garry Brumback increased the amount to $1,000, following a meeting with Police Chief Jon Daly.
Southington resident Art Cyr brought the tagging incident, which allegedly occurred during the day on Friday, Sept. 19, to the attention of the council.
Cyr suggested that the council offer some kind of reward in hopes that it would encourage people to come forward and reveal who the vandal is. He told the council that the individual responsible for the spray paint on Berlin Avenue goes by the initials “RL.”
He commended the ACT on It the anti-vandalism campaign for its anonymous tip line, however, he said he believes it’s a program that “needs some teeth behind it.”
Chairman Michael Riccio agreed with Cyr’s suggestion and said that council should respond to this incident in particular since it was brought to their attention publically.
“This really irritates me, we just spent tens of thousands of dollars on a brand new street,” said Riccio. “Let’s make an example out of it.”
Rewards between $50 to $200 are available, but left up to the discretion of the town manager and the police.
“It’s dependent on the information that’s garnered,” said Councilor Dawn Miceli, a driving force behind the tip line.
Both Miceli and Brumback said that there have been plenty of other serious tagging incidents all over town and the Southington Police Department has been responding to each incident appropriately.
According to Miceli, they made an arrest for vandalism in the last couple of weeks.
“We have had other heavy handed graffiti as well none of it is good so I think we need to make an example out of all of it,” said Miceli.
However, some of the other town council members felt strongly that this incident be handled differently.
Councilwoman Victoria Triano made a motion to authorize the town manager to reward $200 for anyone with valid information on the vandal that goes by “RL.”
“I think we need to hit anyone who’s doing this hard for the first six months, because we’re not playing games here,” said Triano regarding the anti-vandalism campaign.
Triano said that once they find out who is responsible for the incident on Berlin Ave. they intend to prosecute.
Riccio went as far as to say that they are prepared to make the parents of vandals pay, if the person responsible cannot afford to.
“If we catch you, get ready, because we’re going to come after your wallet,” said Riccio.
The town highway department had a crew go out and clean up the vandalism two days after the council meeting.