NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Saturday night’s attack in upstate Monsey has prompted a big response from both local and state leaders. They are stepping up security and launching initiatives to protect our communities.
On Sunday, the last night of Chanukah, hundreds gathered in the cold rain in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn to dispel darkness with light, CBS2’s Matt Kozar reported.
In light of recent anti-Semitic attacks, heavily armed police officers with long guns protected the crowd.
“Right now, we see people attacking this community, and we will not stand for it,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “In New York City, we will never allow attacks on the Jewish community. This is not what we believe in. We believe in a place where everyone can worship in peace.”
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Since Chanukah began on Dec. 22, there have been nine anti-Semitic attacks in the city, prompting the mayor to announce new initiatives to stem the violence.
“Starting next month, you will see people of different communities working together on key corners on key streets, showing a united front and engaging anytime there is a threat of violence,” de Blasio said during an afternoon press conference.
In addition to launching neighborhood safety coalitions in Williamsburg, Borough Park and Crown Heights, the NYPD will increase police presence at houses of worship in several neighborhoods in Brooklyn and add six new light towers in Borough Park, as well as extra security cameras.
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The mayor will also implement hate crime awareness workshops in middle and high schools in Brooklyn and also launch a city-wide advertising campaign to promote diversity and inclusion.
“Many of us thought that anti-Semitism was a thing of the past, but we’ve come to see that’s not true,” said Rabbi Joe Potasnik of the New York Board of Rabbis.
“We have people living in this city in 2019, think about it, that have to worry about their kids, go into school, and what they’re wearing or go into a movie that they’re going to be targeted because of how they look or they’re afraid to worship whatever their religion is,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said. “It makes me angry and mad as hell and it’s going to take all New Yorkers, not just the NYPD. It’s going to take everyone up here. That’s why we’re standing in unity up here to combat this.”
Four local lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday, requesting the National Guard’s assistance in providing security to Jewish neighbors.
When asked about that request, Mayor de Blasio said that the NYPD is the most effective police force in the country and is capable of protecting the citizens.