It’s no secret that former New York City Mayor Ed Koch was no fan of graffiti writers, but did you know he wanted to use violent animals against them? No, not guard dogs, but actual wild wolves. Unlike the canines the city actually employed, Koch let it be known he had wanted to use those German shepherds’ feral four-legged relatives as a deterrent against anyone out to hit train yards.
To combat what he saw as a “quality of life offense,” the Mayor told La Guardia and Wagner Archives:
“Put in wolves because there’s no reported case of a wolf in the wild state ever attacking a human being in North America—it’s happened elsewhere, but not in North America . . .
Now I tell this story to the reporters and Clyde Haberman comes in the next day and says, ‘I checked your story in the library and I found it’s not totally true.’ . . . He said that it is true that no wolf in the wild has attacked a human being in North America but domesticated wolves that people have attacked. But I was only talking about wild wolves, I wasn’t talking about domesticated wolves. My position is if you put the wolf in and after a certain period of time he becomes domesticated, you replace him! You bring in a wild one!”
Sounds legit, because North American wolves are cordial. Hold the door for you, loan you $50 when you need it. While you still see NY’s anti-graffiti stance continuing today, imagine if Koch’s wolf pack got to run wild through train yards.
And you thought the Vandal Squad was bad.
Koch art by CES