Keeping houses of worship, religious schools and other faith-based organizations and agencies safe will be the subject of a security workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 6-8:30 p.m., at the Marlboro Jewish Center.
The event, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, and Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, will be attended by members of groups representing various faiths, law enforcement officials, and lay leaders from both the Jewish and general communities.
Concerns about how to keep faith-based institutions secure have never been more relevant than they are today, said Patrick Daly, deputy director of Secure Community Network, located in Hamilton.
In a phone interview with NJJN, Daly said, “We are living in a society where gun violence has become widespread, if not quite commonplace. These are ‘soft targets’ and therefore should develop strong internal security measures, while at the same time coordinating carefully with law enforcement authorities.”
SCN, an initiative of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, coordinates homeland security issues for the Jewish community, is equipped to share information rapidly in crisis situations, and provides training on general security awareness. Similar training also is available through the OHSP, which has an office in Hamilton.
The featured speaker at the Feb. 12 event will be Captain Douglas Burig of the Pennsylvania State Police Department, director of the Intelligence Division in its Bureau of Criminal Investigation. He is slated to discuss lessons learned after the Oct. 2, 2006, shooting at an Amish schoolhouse in south central Pennsylvania in which five girls were killed and five others seriously injured.
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden also will speak at the meeting.
Daly’s colleague Paul Goldenberg, SCN national executive director, praised the Monmouth Jewish community for being proactive about security matters. The local federation does an “outstanding job of keeping its constituents aware of their exposure and alert to the need for protective measures,” he told NJJN in a phone conversation.