EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Police in East Providence are searching for those responsible for reportedly vandalizing city property with racist stickers.

Mayor Bob DaSilva said the city was recently made aware of the stickers and has opened an investigation into where they came from.

“Vandalism will not be tolerated in our community and the city is taking any act of vandalism, racism or hatred very seriously,” DaSilva said.

Resident Emily Daniell tells Eyewitness News her mother-in-law first spotted one of the stickers. She then posted a photo of the sticker on the NextDoor App to make sure her neighbors were aware.

“As a gay woman I’ve always felt safe here,” Daniell said. “The first sticker we found was also hateful toward gay individuals, so it was a shock to see that here in a place where we feel safe.”

Soon after, Candace Breen said she found another sticker.

“This is not supposed to happen,” Candace Breen said. “I just thought about how my kids would feel looking at a picture of Klansman on a poster at a playground and how that would make them feel. I know for myself, it enraged me.”

Daniell and her neighbor, Tara McGeachey, said silence is not an option. Both women said they’re currently in the process of organizing a peaceful demonstration as a message to the culprits that hatred is not welcome in their city.

“I want my neighbors to know that when they see things like this, that we are not going to just say ‘Oh, that’s too bad.’ We’re going to actually stand up and support them,” McGeachey said.

The residents who reported the stickers initially ripped them off right away. In the future, DaSilva asks that residents don’t touch or attempt to remove or cover up the stickers.

Instead, residents should contact the police department and responding officers will “treat it as a crime scene, process the scene and collect anything of evidentiary value.”

DaSilva said anyone who comes across the stickers or has any information regarding the vandalism should immediately contact the East Providence Police Department at (401) 435-7600.