Hudson Valley school districts, synagogues increase security amid Hamas call for protests

Authorities emphasize that as of now, there are no credible threats in the area.

Lisa LaRocca

Oct 13, 2023, 10:33 AM

Updated 285 days ago


Hudson Valley school districts and Jewish houses of worship are bolstering security measures today as Hamas issues a call for worldwide protests and potential violence against Jewish communities.
Police across the Hudson Valley region are intensifying patrols in response to an official statement from the terrorist group.
Authorities emphasize that as of now, there are no credible threats in the area.
Nevertheless, law enforcement and school districts in the Hudson Valley are taking extra precautions. The Hendrick Hudson School District is one of several that Westchester County police are monitoring closely.
As the conflict persists in Israel, Hamas leaders are urging a day of global protests and action. This appeal follows widespread displays of support for Israel around the world. According to the New York/New Jersey Jewish Security Alliance, there have also been online posts threatening violence against Jewish individuals.
In response, the Westchester County Police Department announced an escalation in patrols around schools where they typically assign school resource officers. They are also keeping a vigilant watch on Jewish houses of worship and other sensitive areas. Administrators in many Hudson Valley school districts affirm that they are heightening their security protocols out of an abundance of caution. Parents express their concerns about the current situation.
"I think that is really the sad thing that there is no regulation on what can be posted on the internet and who can see it. And I think that is what the terrorist and the people who are ruining the lives of so many Jews in Israel are realizing," says Lisa Benoit, a parent.
County police officials emphasize their collaboration with departments across Westchester and their close cooperation with the FBI New York Joint Terrorism Task Force. They stress that if a potential threat emerges, they promptly receive intelligence information.
This heightened uniformed police presence will be implemented in the five school districts where the county police provide school resource officers and in the two communities, Mount Kisco and Cortlandt, where they offer municipal police services. The school districts affected are: The Lakeland Central School District, Hendrick Hudson School District, Somers Central School District, North Salem Central School District, and Katonah-Lewisboro Union Free School District.
In a coordinated effort with law enforcement partners, the Rockland County Sheriff's Office and the New York State Police have augmented patrols throughout the entire county. Residents are urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity promptly to law enforcement. The motto is: "If you see something, say something! If you hear something, say something!"

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