Photos: Itzik Roytman/COLlive
Police Commissioner William J. Bratton presided over the New York City Police Department’s pre-Passover briefing Tuesday, an annual conference at which religious and community leaders are provided information on the current threat environment and implications for New York City during the upcoming religious holiday.
The Department’s partnership with community members and the importance of continued collaboration was also discussed.
“Our country has long been a beacon for those seeking safety and freedom – for those seeking the ability to live their lives practice their religion and culture in peace,” said Police Commissioner Bratton. “There have been times when we have not fully lived up to that idea, but we have never forgotten it. It’s my mission to make sure that it’s never forgotten here in New York City.”
The hundreds in attendance were briefed on police-community relation initiatives and new counterterror efforts in the wake of the recent attack in Brussels.
Members of the Intelligence Bureau detailed how the NYPD is monitoring current terrorist attacks across the world and the current state of groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. The Department’s Crime Prevention Unit and Counterterrorism Bureau presented information on active shooters.
The Pre-Passover Briefing began in 1979 with 12 Jewish community leaders. Since 1991 and the development of the Clergy Liaison program the briefing has evolved into an information sharing community meeting with hundreds of religious leaders in attendance.
The NYPD will deploy additional resources including ‘Hercules’ patrols by heavily armed officers, the Department’s new Critical Response Command and Strategic Response Group officers to synagogues, Jewish neighborhoods and other potentially sensitive locations during the religious holiday. Foot posts, visits by officers to synagogues, outreach by community affairs officers, a heightened presence of anti-crime units to deter theft, and patrols by special ‘house of worship’ cars will all be part of how the Department will continue to keep New Yorkers safe. It similarly increases security at religious institutions during other religious holidays throughout all communities in New York City.