Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2012, 9:47 am

Chicago's graffiti-removal crews take new approach

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CHICAGO (AP) Chicago city officials say graffiti-removal crews are taking a new approach to the job.

It's known as 'blitzing' and involves a ward-based grid system where officials map out service calls before dispatching crews.

City officials say the systematic approach increases efficiency and productivity by reducing travel times between jobs and fuel costs.

The approach has been used by Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation for tree-trimming and tree-removal. City commissioners say it's reduced the backlog of service calls.

City officials say graffiti-removal crews in the first week visited 18 wards, blasted more than 1,000 pieces of graffiti and painted over 1,400 others.