Vandalized traffic signs have been repaired


HANCOCK COUNTY — Officials from the Hancock County High Way Department had to spend some extra time and extra funds recently to replace several vandalized traffic signs along County Roads East 300S, near South 250W after the signs were destroyed thanks to vandals who spray-painted them.

A concerned citizen noticed the vandalized signs a few days ago, four at first, but then found several others, and was troubled due to the fact some of the signs had racial slurs and sexually explicit symbols spray-painted on them.

“I did reach out to county officials and they confirmed they found more damaged signs than I had even seen,” the concerned citizen, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the Daily Reporter after sharing the photos.

County Engineer Gary Pool noted that while his office suspected that teenagers destroyed the signs, they didn’t think it was funny and that county officials didn’t appreciate the graffiti, which damaged county property.

“The swastika they spray-painted on and the racially disparaging words they used are unacceptable,” Pool said. “We’re going to get those down as quickly as we can.”

And his crews did. Within days of receiving the call about the signs, Pool’s staff fixed the issue. The signs have been replaced, but at a cost.

 The vandals tried to change the speed limit sign from 50 to 60 mph.

“Signs are about $60 each and then probably another $50 in labor, gas, equipment and more, so it’s not cheap,” Pool said. “The labor lost hurts the most.”

Officials from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department often handle these types of situations in the county. However, Capt. Robert Harris searched their call records and did not see that anyone reported the sign damage. If they had been notified, their deputies would have completed a full report and may have been able to track down the offenders.

“That way, if the person(s) responsible were found, Gary’s office could try to seek reimbursement for damages,” Harris said.

Unfortunately, Harris said they first heard of the damaged signs from the Daily Reporter. It’s a reminder for anyone who sees criminal issues in the county to call law enforcement to get reports on record.