Operation Payback, sponsored by Safe & Sound, a Milwaukee crime-prevention group funded with federal and foundation grants, uses offenders on probation to remove graffiti and pick up trash on the streets of two police districts, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Aaron Edwards coordinates the program with collaboration from the police department, the state Probation and Parole office, the district attorney’s office and other city and law-enforcement agencies.
Operation Payback gets tips on where to find garbage and graffiti from police, or from the city’s Department of Neighborhood Services or they find them themselves – and off they go. Edwards helped launch the program last year after a “notorious tagging crew” that had caused thousands of dollars was busted. “Some had to do jail time, and some had to do community service,” Edwards said. At first, Payback was a program just for taggers on probation, but word of it got out to probation officers, and some of them assigned clients with other offenses.