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Family at ease after security cameras installed at Highland Cemetery

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -Families of loved ones buried at Highland Cemetery are feeling more at ease tonight after the installation of new security cameras.

The 8-thousand dollar cameras were paid for through the Cemetery Care Fund and a grant from the Lawton Enhancement Trust Authority.

This comes after several incidents last year. Over 70 headstones were knocked over, and personal items and decorations had been destroyed.

These motion-sensitive cameras are weatherproof, run off electricity, and are the closest to being bullet proof that you can get. They capture a series of pictures for the first 20 seconds then will take video until the motion sensor is deactivated.

"This is all I have, you know, to show him and bring him things to show him I love him or bring him little gifts, so I just ask that people respect that because it may not mean anything to them, but it means a lot to me," said Valerie Moore, sons grave vandalized.

Moore's son's grave is a sacred place for her and her family after tragically losing her 7-month-old to bronchitis. She says for the past year they've been fighting off vandals. The first time was just three weeks after his death. Moore found the concrete angel on his grave spray painted black. Since then, toys, decorations and flowers have been stolen, destroyed and ripped up.

"It broke my heart into a million pieces," said Moore. "I literally hit my knees on the ground so personally that's how that made me feel, I can't imagine how other families felt, so from that point on, it was my mission to make that come to a stop."

Moore's voice was heard and the city installed these high-tech motion sensitive security cameras in hopes of catching whoever is behind the vandalism.

"We could actually know that the stuff we are putting out here wasn't going to be damaged anymore and if it was, we could actually find who was doing it hopefully and get some justice to help the problems stop out here," said Moore.

She says she will sleep better at night knowing the cemetery now has an extra set of eyes, but hopes those doing the damage will realize how they're affecting these families, and stop... and if they don't, they face being caught on camera and potentially prosecuted for their crime.

"This is where their families come to appreciate their lives and they deserve to be at rest here," said Moore. "They don't deserve to have everything desecrated out here, so they deserve some justice."

Moore and her family are going to the cemetery tonight to decorate Mason's grave for Easter. And now that the security cameras are up and running, they're finally ordering a flat headstone with his name on it and then another shaped like Mickey Mouse.

City officials will continue installing the cameras the rest of the week and hope to get even more as funding becomes available.

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