The Associated Press reported on Sunday that the Saturday night machete stabbing attack on a Rabbi’s home in Monsey, NY, has led New Jersey towns with a large Jewish presence to increase their police forces’ alertness to potential anti-Semitic attacks.
Teaneck’s Police Chief Glenn O’Reilly announced meanwhile that he is increasing police watch around “houses of worship.”
Can you say Synagogue?
Incidentally, Teaneck police and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday ruled that an incident at a kosher bagel store in Teaneck last week had not been a bias crime, and that the suspect was merely emotionally unstable, USA Today reported. Teaneck police initially believed the incident, where an angry man assaulted customers at a local kosher bagel store, was a hate crime because the suspect used anti-Semitic slurs, and the bagel store customers were Orthodox Jews.
Lakewood police chief Lt. LeRoy Marshall has also increased police patrols around “shuls, churches and synagogues.” He explained: “Based on recent events, we are being more vigilant in our daily patrols. The safety of our residents is paramount and we are doing everything that we can to assure them of that.”
In Jersey City, where a gruesome massacre took place on Dec. 10 in a kosher market, Mayor Fullop announced that he is “constantly working with Public Safety officials to evaluate and adjust police patrols and presence. Out of an abundance of caution and to reduce any concerns among our residents, we have increased police presence over the past 2 weeks and we are certainly taking the recent unfortunate events into account.”
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Police in Highland Park in Middlesex County, New Jersey, investigated graffiti found outside the Ahavas Achim synagogue on South 1st Avenue. Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler posted on Facebook:
“Our police department is investigating graffiti outside of Ahavas Achim and the surrounding area. The area remains an active possible bias crime scene. The Middlesex County Prosecutors Office and Homeland Security have been contacted. I just left the scene and will keep you advised.The investigation is pending and more information will be released as available.
“We must be better prepared to address incidents of hate in our community. That is why I will be reformulating our Community Response Team, including first responders, religious leaders and other advisors to be ready and prepared to address incidents like these, in real time, when they occur.”