City employees were dispatched today to quickly cover up a series of swastikas that someone carved into playground equipment at Longmont's Loomiller Park.
The vandalism was discovered this morning and reported to the city by state Rep. Jonathan Singer, a Longmont resident.
Singer said he and his wife, Allison Barrett, were taking their 16-month-old daughter Gwen on a "post-New Year's walk" through the park at 1700 11th Ave. when they came upon the swastikas that had been scratched into at least four locations in the playground, including a children's slide.
"They were very visible," Singer said. "Honestly, I was really shocked."
Singer, who was brought up Jewish, said that while there have been reports of the symbol, most often associated with Nazi Germany, having shown up at other locations in Colorado in recent months, "it's certainly something I hadn't seen for a long time in Longmont."
Singer said he emailed Assistant City Manager Sandi Seader about what he'd seen and heard back a short time later from City Manager Harold Dominguez, who emailed Singer that he'd notify Longmont's parks staff and police about the vandalism.
Dominguez said in an interview that parks staffers were to see whether they could do "a quick cover-up" of the swastikas today, then return Tuesday to see if it will take resurfacing or replacement of the vandalized portions of the playground structures.
Singer also posted photos of the Loomiller Park playground swastikas on his Facebook page, which he said he'd done to emphasize that such a hate-related symbol "isn't acceptable at all, but especially not in public."
Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett saw the Facebook posting and emailed Singer that he'd pass the report on to the U.S. Attorney's Office, "which monitors such things," as well as to Longmont Public Safety Chief Mike Butler.
Singer said any such display of swastikas "is wrong" and that he had notified the city because "we can't be bystanders when it happens."
There were at least two reports of swastika graffiti in Longmont over the summer, including large red swastikas painted over gang-related graffiti on a fence near 15th Avenue and Centennial Drive in July.
Since the election of Donald Trump, there have been reports of hate speech and swastika vandalism in Colorado and elsewhere around the country.
In November, a transgender woman's SUV was vandalized with death threats and a swastika near Denver's Cheeseman Park. A few days later, a swastika was painted on an elementary school in Denver's Stapleton neighborhood.
Also in November, racist graffiti targeting Hispanics was discovered in Lafayette.
In Boulder County, police, prosecutors and civic leaders have held multiple public meetings, including in Longmont, to reassure residents that their rights will be protected regardless of their color, gender, gender identity or citizenship status.
Similarly, the Longmont City Council last month adopted a resolution reaffirming residents' rights under the U.S. Constitution and declaring Longmont is not "a city ruled by fear" and "will not stand for bullying, threats, violence or bigotry."