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Hempstead, Long Beach to boost patrols during Jewish holidays

There have been no specific threats made to places of worship, officials said, but they are being cautious around the days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Long Beach and Hempstead officials on Sept. 7, 2018, announced increased patrols around Jewish holidays.  (Credit: Newsday / John Asbury)

Long Beach police and Hempstead public safety officers will patrol synagogues and Jewish centers during the High Holy Days over the next two weeks.

Long Beach City Council members, Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen and State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) gathered Friday in front of the BACH Jewish Center in Long Beach to announce increased police presence during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur after anti-Semitic hate crimes rose 90 percent across New York State last year, officials said.

No specific threats have been made to any Jewish sites in Long Beach or Hempstead, but City Council Vice President Chumi Diamond said residents deserved a sense of peace and security while they worship.

“Hate crimes against the Jewish community have risen around the world. Thankfully these deplorable acts aren’t an everyday occurrence; they certainly raise awareness for our community, especially this time of year as we head into the Jewish high holidays,” Diamond said.

The Anti-Defamation League reports anti-Semitic hate crimes rose 57 percent nationally from 2016 to 2017, Gillen said.

Long Beach police will patrol the city’s synagogues and temples. The town’s unarmed public safety officers will expand their patrols of town facilities to include Jewish sites throughout the town for 24-hour patrols, Gillen said. Public safety officers will remain in contact with Nassau County police if there is a need to respond.

The Town of Hempstead has 65,000 Jewish residents, including 40,000 in the Five Towns communities.

“We will stand together as a community to keep our streets and communities safe,” Gillen said. “There is no room for hate in the Town of Hempstead, Long Beach or the county of Nassau.”

Nassau police say they are intensifying patrols around all places of worship and the Intelligence Unit is working closely with federal, state and local authorities.

The Suffolk County Police Department officials say officers will be directed to increase the number of checks of synagogues, religious buildings and mosques during the holidays.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced $2.1 million for security upgrades at 45 Jewish schools and day care centers after a series of bomb threats on Long Island last year, Kaminsky said.

“Growing up in this community, I never felt unsafe because I always knew a Long Beach patrol car was nearby,” Kaminsky said. “We’re making sure resources are there and protecting the First Amendment right to worship in peace.”

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