Shootings spur enhanced security at local Jewish centers


In the wake of the shootings, local Jewish centers were on alert Monday.
April is always a month when Jewish community centers and organizations are extra vigilant.
“Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to people of Kansas City, the Kansas City JCC and the Village Shalom Retirement Home,” said Larry Katz, Board President of the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla.
Monday morning, there was a San Diego police car parked in front of the center. Katz told KUSI that center officials had been in close communication with the police department's northern division station, which is right around the corner.
“We tell our people to be vigilant if they hear or see something to let the police know, let us know. We obviously can't protect against every crazy out there.”
He added that the center was aware of no copy-cat threats in the wake of the Kansas City area incident. The fact that the shootings occurred the day before Passover may not have been a coincidence.
“April does have some sensitive dates,” stated SDPD Northern Division Captain Jerry Hara.
Hara says there's always extra police sensitivity, extra vigilance in the month of April. The white supremacists are not only aware of Passover, but Adolph Hitler's birthday is April 20th.
“We have increased police presence at Jewish centers as well as neighborhood checks and stop in and say 'hi'. Usually, there isn't anything, but it's our job that they feel safe.”
Here, at Jewish Family Service in Kearny Mesa, the shooting hit home for one staffer. A woman told me that several years ago, a white supremacist walked into a Jewish community center in Granada Hills in the L.A. area and opened fire. Her son, then five and a half, was there. He was unhurt, but the gunman wounded five people – including children – on August 10, 1999. It was an unfortunate wake-up call for Jewish centers around the country; security now has to be a primary issue.


Categories: KUSI