Police Commissioner William J. Bratton presided over the New York City Police Department’s Pre-Passover briefing, 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.
“The NYPD cannot be successful without the help of our community partners,” he said. “We are able to keep New York City safe, fighting crime and terrorism, because of the collaboration seen here today.”
First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker spoke to the hundreds in attendance regarding police-community relations, as well as new NYPD initiatives the Department has lead in 2014 and plans for the coming months.
Other speakers included Deputy Commissioner Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller, who detailed how the NYPD is monitoring current terrorist attacks across the world and the current state of groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, and NYPD Intelligence Research Specialist Minda Arrow who spoke about the December 2014 attack at the Lubavitch World Headquarters on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway.
“The NYPD is the sweet haroset on the Passover Sedar plate that takes care of the bitter herbs,” said Rabbi Dr. Alvin Kass, chief chaplain of the NYPD. He went on to wish all a happy and healthy Passover and Easter.
The Pre-Passover Briefing began in 1979 with 12 Jewish community leaders. Since 1991, and with 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 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.