Westchester County police and its law enforcement partners will be conducting increased patrols around Jewish houses of worship and other high-profile locations during the upcoming High Holidays.
All law enforcement agencies within Counter-Terrorism Zone 3 will be participating in Operation Safeguard, which includes an increased police presence around religious institutions, major transit hubs, retail centers and critical infrastructure such as bridges and dams. The CTZ-3 comprises Westchester and Putnam counties.
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, begins Friday at sundown and runs through Sept. 20. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, runs from the evening of Sept. 27 through Sept. 28.
County officials, including Commissioner Thomas A. Gleason of the Department of Public Safety, recently participated in a virtual meeting with rabbis and Jewish community leaders to discuss the security initiative. Gleason also noted that local law enforcement and the county police are available to conduct a review of the physical security at any temple, synagogue or other Jewish institution.
Gleason said the county police and its municipal police partners will be monitoring social media and reviewing intelligence information provided by federal and state agencies about any potential threats to Westchester or its Jewish institutions.
This information will be shared through the multiagency Real Time Crime intelligence center, which is housed at county police headquarters in Hawthorne. In addition, a county police detective is assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force and can share vital intelligence information in real time with the County Police.
“As with any security initiative, there will be elements the public can see and elements it cannot,” Gleason said. “Do not be alarmed if you see an increased presence of uniformed personnel or marked police vehicles during this period. And know that all of us in law enforcement are working in other ways behind the scenes during the Jewish High Holidays.”