City develops system to safeguard local cemetery - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

City develops system to safeguard local cemetery

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MARION, IL -

It's a special place that marks our loved ones final resting spot, but cemetery vandalism is becoming increasingly more common in our area.

Last May, someone spray painted the headstones at Union Ridge Cemetery in Marshall County, Kentucky.

Then in November, two teens were charged with knocking over 51 headstones in Fulton County.

Now a local cemetery is trying to safeguard their headstones, while making the area easier to visit.

It holds some of the oldest headstones in the area.

"I think it's about 1850,” said John Goss. “That's a long time ago."

Making the City of Marion Cemetery one of the oldest, and largest around.

"32,000 graves spread out over 120 acres," said Goss.

In the past the quickest way to sort through the 32,000 grave sites was to come to a series of old filing cabinets, and sort through dozens of old cemetery maps to find their loved ones grave. Now they're replacing this system with a GPS mapping device.

"It actually uses satellite coordinates and actually physically locates that head stone and marks it and places it on our map," said Terance Henry.

That map allows visitors to quickly search for their loved one, and safe guards the headstones from vandals.

"If we were to be subject to some vandalisms or headstones being knocked over or something, because of technology that we have here it's a lot easier to help locate to put it back," said Henry.

"50 years from now it will be nice to come up and says 'Where's Uncle John, or Grandpa John buried,' and they'll be able to pin me right down to it," said Goss.

The mapping system that the City of Marion Cemetery developed costs about $10,000 and could be replicated by any cemetery.

For more information click here.

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