A spate of graffiti tags cropped up in and around Wantagh last week, with some of the most obvious examples at Mandalay Elementary School on Bayview Avenue. The graffiti tags, which appeared to be focused on Mandalay, depicted the initials “D.O.E.” in various styles of calligraphy.
Police are currently investigating the incidents, pulling security footage from the school’s cameras. The meaning of the tag was unclear, even to public officials whose jobs include tracking graffiti.
The recent incidents have drawn the ire of local elected officials.
Following the incident., Hempstead Town Councilman Christopher Carini wrote on social media that “Graffiti destroys our suburban landscape and ruins the quality of life of our neighborhoods.”
As part of the newly announced Town of Hempstead Anti-Graffiti initiative, Carini wrote that the town has voted to double the fines for graffiti to $10,000 from $5,000, for each building structure or surface. The Town of Hempstead is forming a town-wide “Graffiti Watch Task Force” to help report instances of graffiti.
Carini wrote that he would also be forming a task force made up of community leaders, civic and Chamber of Commerce members to help report and remove graffiti locally in his Fifth Councilmanic District.
“I have already reached out to the community members and will be announcing this local task force early next week,” he wrote.
Carini has long been a staunch advocate of a quick response to graffiti around the Wantagh and Seaford area. Before winning the election to the town council, Carini was the vice president of the Wantagh/Seaford Homeowner’s Association. In that position, he pressed for rapid cleanup of graffiti on various overpasses and near Long Island Rail Road train stations in Wantagh and Seaford.
Nassau County Legislator Steve Rhoads urged any community members who recognize the tags or have any information about them to contact (516) 573-8271 for COPE and (516) 573-7360 for Community Affairs who are conducting the investigation.