Kansas Jewish centers killings prompt increase in LI patrols
Police are intensifying patrols at religious places of worship this week as Long Islanders of different faiths observe the holidays and in light of Sunday's deadly shootings at two Kansas Jewish centers.
Monday evening marks the start of Passover, and Sunday, Palm Sunday, marked the start of Holy Week for Christians leading up to Easter this Sunday.
The heightened security comes after a white supremacist -- and former Ku Klux Klan leader -- killed three people in attacks at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City, according to The Associated Press.
In a statement late Sunday, the Suffolk Police Department said it was aware of the shootings. "Our officers are on heightened awareness and there will be increased patrols with both marked and unmarked units during the holidays."
Earlier last week, Nassau announced plans to bolster security at local temples, synagogues and churches for the Passover and Easter holidays, and Sunday they reiterated the plan, saying the department had "increased the already established intensified patrols at religious places of worship."
The department said Sunday that there "is no known threat to any religious institution in Nassau County at this time."
A Nassau police spokeswoman, citing security concerns, said the department could not provide more details on the additional level of patrols.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, via his Twitter account, wrote the city's police force "is taking all steps to ensure the safety and security of Jewish individuals and institutions as Passover is ushered in."
"On behalf of New York City, we offer condolences and prayers to the victims of today's tragic incident in the greater Kansas City area," de Blasio wrote Sunday.
Last month, NYPD officials, including Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence John Miller, met with Jewish community leaders and said the agency had "no credible specific intelligence as the holiday season approaches upon us, that there isn't any specific threat to New York or this [Jewish] community."