The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) this week condemned the use of swastikas in vandalism found in Milford on Sunday morning and praised local police for investigating the matter.

The graffiti consisted of black swastikas painted on a crosswalk, road sign and tree in the Devon area of Milford, which authorities believe were defaced late on Saturday night. Though there does not yet appear to be a direct target, Milford police have increased their patrols in the neighborhood and are investigating it as an act of violence with a hate message, ADL officials said in a prepared statement.

“ADL condemns the use of swastikas in graffiti wherever this specter of hate rears its ugly head,” said Steve Ginsburg, Regional Director of the Connecticut ADL. “The fact that this vandalism appeared on the first night of Chanukah is a sad reminder that the evils of ignorance and anti-Semitism are alive. These ugly symbols are offensive to all people with an understanding of history and who wish to live in a respectful community.”

Ginsburg said that the Milford Police Department responded appropriately.

“We commend the Milford Police for its investigation of this crime,” he said. “We hope that this act of vandalism can start a conversation about the history, context and potency of this hateful symbol.”