Washington, D.C. | www.adc.org | November 15, 2016 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is alarmed by the significant rise in violent hate rhetoric and crimes targeting Arab and Muslim American communities, and communities of color. These attacks have intensified after the presidential election held last week.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offers a number of valuable resources which provide information on how to protect a place of worship. Much of the information provided is made available through the DHS – Hometown Security Program.
If you feel you have been a victim of a hate crime, of if any individual or place of worship needs any assistance with any of the above, including dealing with law enforcement, please contact the ADC Pro Bono Legal Department at 202-244-2990 or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADC reminds its members and greater community to be safe and exercise precaution. Please keep the following precautionary advisory tips in mind.
Connect: Reach out and develop relationships in your community, including local law enforcement. Having these relationships established before an incident occurs can help speed up the response when something happens, or when a threat is imminent. It is advisable to find out whether your place of worship has an open line of communication with law enforcement. If there is no line of communication, it is advised that one be established. A request for law enforcement presence should be made with law enforcement prior to large gatherings at places of worship.
Plan: Take time now to plan on how you will handle a security event should one occur. Leaders at places of worship are encouraged to have an emergency plan that can be implemented should the need arise. Be familiar with all the exits to your place of worship, in case the building is attacked.
Train: Provide employees and members of the congregation with training resources and exercise your plan often. The best laid plan must be exercised in order to be effective.
If finances allow, places of worship should retain armed security personnel to protect the premise during prayer and celebrations.
If you see someone suspicious at the place of worship, please contact law enforcement immediately.
Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) information is available by clicking here. SAR training for private sector partners is located here.
DHS Infrastructure Protection works with community members to enhance overall security infrastructure at places of worship. To learn more about the program, please contact Protective Security Advisors, DHS Infrastructure Protection, email@example.com to be connected with regional protective security advisors. For more info click here.