NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The NYPD is updating city residents on their increased presence in Jewish neighborhoods ahead of the High Holy Days.
In recent years, the department has expanded foot patrols and counter-terrorism teams around Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill were on hand for Wednesday’s announcement of 2019 security plans.
“It’s my obligation as mayor to make sure the Jewish population is protected not just the High Holy Days but every day, and the sacred responsibility of the NYPD as well,” said de Blasio. “We’ve seen the rise of hate crimes in this city even this year compared to last year but we cannot be afraid.”
“Public safety is a shared responsibility,” said O’Neill. “It requires you to take ownership and keep an eye out in the neighborhoods where you live, where you work and where you worship. No one knows these streets better than you do.”
Recent statistics show there have been 290 hate crime complaints for 2019 according to police, compared to 205 for the same period last year. The majority this year were classified as anti-Semitic with 152 complaints.
“Not only our precinct personnel that will be redeployed but we have a lot of specialized units that will be out there too,” said O’Neill. “Critical response command, they’ll be out there. Some you’ll, see some you won’t.”
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill Outlines Plans For 2019 High Holy Days
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force launched another investigation into a possible bias attack in Brooklyn after a Jewish man was assaulted with a belt in early September.
That incident – happening on Saturday night just as Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, was coming to an end – was the third attack on an Orthodox man in Brooklyn in less than a week.
The other cases involved someone who hit a rabbi in the face with a heavy paving stone in Crown Heights, breaking his nose and knocking out two teeth.
In the other incident, suspects threw something – possibly ice – at an Orthodox Jewish man while he was sitting in traffic, also in Crown Heights. The victim suffered an eye injury.
“We’re not going to hide from this,” said O’Neill. “It only strengthens our resolve to combat any and all form of bias prejudice and hate. I applaud all of those who have come forward.”
“Today’s High Holy Days Briefing is a great example of how we can work together & grow the relationships that benefit our city. It’s not easy, but it gets done far more effectively when we do it together.”-@NYPDONeill pic.twitter.com/LAzh8L1aLJ
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) September 18, 2019
De Blasio called for everyone to work together to help ensure a safe High Holy Days, and beyond.
“We’re gathered today in solidarity, we’re gathered today in vigilance to always show the community we’re on guard and remind anyone that we’re watching and we will act and there will be consequences,” he said. “We will not accept hatred in New York City.”
Rosh Hashanah begins Sept. 28 at sundown. Yom Kippur begins Oct. 8 at sundown.