Hilliard leaders pledged their support to combat racially tinged messages on public property even if it occurs outside the city limits.

"Hate has no place in our community ... but our detectives are working with Columbus (police) to stay aware," Hilliard Division of Police Chief Bobby Fisher told Hilliard City Council members Feb. 13.

About a dozen people attended the meeting to address council about stickers discovered on the back of street signs in early February.

The stickers were in Crosscreek, a Columbus subdivision just south of Hilliard, Fisher said.

Kelly Weber, a Gahanna resident, said she has friends in Hilliard and found another sticker at Hilliard-Rome Road and Richlanne Drive in the city limits. She said she called Hilliard police and was told she could remove it or the city would do so.

Hilliard resident Nikki Buskirk asked the city to establish a protocol for such incidents even if they occur in Columbus but within the Hilliard City Schools boundaries.

Another Hilliard resident, Tiffany Rumbalski, told council members she researched the organization she believes responsible for the displays.

Weber organized a rally Feb. 4 outside Hilliard United Methodist Church, and no new displays have been seen since Feb. 5, she said.

Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo also addressed council about inclusiveness and shared accounts of discrimination he had experienced as an adolescent.

Council President Albert Iosue encouraged those in attendance to report such incidents not only to police but to City Council through the council clerk's office. The general number for Hilliard police is 614-876-7321; council clerk Lynne Fasone can be contacted at 614-876-7361, ext. 789. The general number for the Columbus Division of Police is 614-645-4545.

"We don't take it lightly just because it wasn't in Hilliard," Iosue said. It doesn't mean we don't care (even if our) police can't respond."