The Gazette reports that Billings Mayor Bill Cole has condemned racist and anti-gay vandalism after swastikas and other graffiti were found emblazoned on property at Grace United Methodist Church, Lewis & Clark Middle School, Senior High School and Pioneer Park.

The Mayor said on Monday at the outset of a work session of the Billings City Council that the crimes [quote] “are not a prank or a minor infraction that can be tolerated… Swastikas and hate speech are intended to intimidate and imply a threat of physical violence.” [end quote] Police Chief Rich St. John told the council his department has several leads.

School resource officers, the city’s parks officer and the street crimes unit are stepping up security on nights when there are gatherings at the church. BPD is also in contact with the FBI and Homeland Security.

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