The city wants to crack down on vandals who mar buildings like this one with graffiti. ((CBC))

Graffiti is a sign of a declining community and changes the way people feel about their neighbourhood, Edmonton police chief Mike Boyd said Thursday.

"We're seeing in Edmonton, the revitalization of neighbourhoods and where its been revitalized, one of the things you're going to see is heavy commitment from the community to recognize what graffiti is, recognize what litter is and go after that physical disorder," Boyd said at the start of a one-day workshop on the issue.

"That's what we need to do. That's what taking back your city's all about."

Three grafitti experts from Vancouver, Saskatoon and Calgary were expected to teach about 100 Edmonton police officers attending the workshop how to increase the number of vandalism arrests in the city.

The workshop was organized by the city's Capital City Cleanup Graffiti Management program and is part of an initiative by the city of Edmonton to crack down on illegal graffiti.