RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — No one likes to find graffiti in their neighborhood. So today, students from Western Dakota Tech are doing their part and helping clean up the community by painting over graffiti.

Vandalism is a growing issue in Rapid City.

“It’s just an eye sore for everybody and it brings down the value of a neighborhood and it’s a big part of the broken windows theory in that if you want to keep crime down then you have an orderly community and an orderly neighborhood,” Chris DeGroote, Graffiti Strikeforce Coordinator, said.

Today, these students are taking their work outside the classroom and helping police.

“Working together as a team is easily doable to clean up the graffiti in Rapid City, it just takes a little effort,” Julius Morris, student, said.

“There are certain skills that we can’t teach in the classroom and we need to teach community service. They need to learn these skills so we bring them out and have them volunteer. It just contributes to the betterment of the community,” Peter Ragnone, Criminal Justice Program Dir., said.

There are about 20 students helping out here today. All of them are Criminal Justice students at Western Dakota Tech.

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. To change the younger generation and say, ‘that guy did it.’ There are other paths to take instead of a path of doing graffiti and ruining your lives over something dumb when you could go help other people,” Morris said.

By getting out into the community and helping out where they can, these students are getting hands-on experience for their future careers.

Not only is vandalizing property disrespectful, but it’s also against the law. To report any vandalism in Rapid City, you can call the police department.