Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish New Year, again falls in the shadow of escalating Middle East turmoil, now with the looming specter of a U.S. attack on Syria.
Once again, Nassau County Police have announced intensified patrols in the vicinity of temples and synagogues as the year 5774 arrives Wednesday evening. The increased security, both outside and inside area synagogues, will continue through the upcoming Jewish High Holy Days.
"The county will intensify police patrols around temples and synagogues during the upcoming Jewish High Holy Holidays,” said County Executive Edward P. Mangano at a press conference in Rockville Centre Tuesday. “All religious leaders should know that the Nassau County Police Department will take any and all threats to public safety seriously as nothing is more important than the safety of our residents.”
Police officials stressed that there has been no specific terrorist or hate crime threat made to Nassau County. The increased patrols are precautionary, Mangano said.
Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Dale said authorities met with religious and temple leaders recently to discuss precautionary measures individual temples can take to maintain safety. In general terms, those measures include limiting access to houses of worship and maintaining vigilance prior and during the service, experts told Patch.
Similar private conferences between temple leaders and police were held last year prior to the High Holidays.
Mangano asked residents that if they “see something, say something” to the Nassau County Police by calling 911.“In these dangerous times, it is critical that we all be aware of our surroundings," Mangano said. "Residents can help be the eyes and ears for the police department. Don’t assume a package, bag or box was left somewhere by accident."
Suspicious, unattended packages discovered at or outside of a church, temple, train station, synagogue, mall or high traffic area should be reported, police said. Along with 911, residents can call the Nassau County tip line at 516-573-7720.
Police intelligence officials are monitored past incidents are are allocating their resources accordingly, Dale said.