After the recent discovery of vandalism to many grave stones at Fairview Cemetery, residents are taking to social media to air their concerns.

After the recent discovery of vandalism to many grave stones at Fairview Cemetery, residents are taking to social media to air their concerns.

The act of overturning headstones has surely been around as long as cemeteries have been.

City Manager Justin Erickson said there have been other instances of headstones being vandalized, but this latest incident was the largest in size/scope that anyone can remember.

Although completely locking down the grounds might make them more secure — that also keeps out residents. Erickson's goal — for sake of the community — requires the opposite strategy: allow the area to remain accessible, so neighbors and locals can see and be seen.

He said there are a number of people that walk in the cemetery (after hours), so there are pedestrian gates that remain open or unlocked.

“The city actually doesn’t want to limit pedestrian access since they provide a deterrent to vandals,” Erickson said.

However, he said the city is investigating ways to increase security, including the installation of cameras.

Resident Deanie Wells said her father — who used to own the monument company across the street — would routinely go over to the grounds and set toppled headstones back into place.

She said it was just something he would do to help out his community.

Wells said it breaks her heart to see her parents' resting place treated so poorly.

“There's always going to be people doing malicious things like this,” Wells said.

This is not news to Shawnee Police Department Chief Mason Wilson.

He said it's been his experience that incidents like this one are typically a summer issue and the vandals are most likely juveniles.

Still, he said the SPD will look at all possibilities.

“We have arranged for officers to drive through periodically during the night hours and also some extra duty bike patrols in the area,” he said.