Faith leaders invited to free security training

Synagogue, temple, church, mosque and other congregational leaders and security departments are urged to attend this June 30 emergency training, briefing and active shooter safety presentation to prepare congregations for potential attacks and violent extremism.

“Houses of worship have reason to be concerned and prepared,” writes the Rev. Markel Hutchins, the national lead organizer of One Congregation One Precinct (OneCOP). “Earlier this year, there was a random shooting at the Chabad Synagogue in San Diego. Before that, 11 worshipers were tragically murdered during the morning Shabbat service at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Three days prior, a gunman was seen on surveillance video trying to enter the First Baptist Church Jeffersontown, a historically black congregation in Kentucky, just minutes before he killed two innocent African American patrons at a nearby Kroger grocery store. Approximately 70 people were inside the church for a Bible study that ended just before the gunman arrived.”

In light of these deadly attacks at/on faith communities in other cities, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Portland Field Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Oregon District, Oregon State Police, Portland Police Bureau and other local law enforcement agencies are joining with the OneCOP to hold an emergency training session and comprehensive briefing for faith communities across the metro Portland area. The free training will be held at Congregation Neveh Shalom (2900 SW Peaceful Lane/503-246-8831) on Sunday, June 30, from 3 to 6 pm.  There will also be active shooter demonstration followed by a question and answer period.

Law enforcement will present crucial and potentially life-saving information and  intelligence about specific trends and potential threats. Notwithstanding existing measures and personnel a congregation may already have in place, including off-duty officers, these authorities have up-to-date information and resources needed to bolster current security efforts. All congregational leadership teams are urged to attend. The event is free and open to all leaders from houses of worship.

The program is being co-sponsored locally by the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon.

For more information, call OneCOP at 503-809-0990 or 888-492-7321.

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