Law gives harsher sentences for bomb threats to community centers

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YONKERS -

A new law signed today by Gov. Andrew Cuomo imposes harsher sentences on people who make bomb threats against community centers.

Lawmakers passed it earlier this year in response to a string of bomb threats called into Jewish community centers across the country, including in the Hudson Valley.  Previously, the law pertained to offenses that took place at schools, places of amusement and playgrounds. The new law now expands to include community centers.

In a statement, Gov. Cuomo said, "by signing this measure, we will give law enforcement more tools to prosecute hatemongers and treat these crimes with the seriousness they deserve."

“Even a threat, not an actual action, creates anxiety and uncertainty, and there should be a real penalty,” says Rabbi Andrew Ergas, executive director of the Shames JCC, one of the centers that experienced a bomb threat last year.

Additional measures are in place at the JCC on the Hudson to make sure any person, of any religious background, can go there safely while maintaining a level of vigilance.

“We work closely with local, regional and national authorities to ensure there's a high level of vigilance of safety and security here at the JCC,” says Ergas. 

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