Frightened Brooklyn Jewish Community Asks for More Security

AP Photo/Craig Ruttle
AP Photo/Craig Ruttle

Jews in Brooklyn, New York, justifiably afraid after a series of anti-Semitic attacks in Europe, are asking the city for more security around their streets, their schools, and their synagogues.

In Midwood and Borough Park, residents want to see a more significant police presence. Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) said, “People here in my community after Paris are saying ‘how do we deal with this? How do we protect ourselves?’”

Hikind noted that since the ambush/execution of two NYPD officers in Bedford-Stuyvesant, officers no longer work alone, cutting back the number of officers available to help. He asserted, “We have a great police force, but that police force has shrunk because you need two in all situations. And what used to be the case, that you had one police driving down the street in a little vehicle, is not happening.”

Hikind said that many people in his community have suggested hiring armed security guards, although he did not say who would hire them.

The NYPD responded to Hikind by stating, “We regularly assess our special attention coverage based on our threat assessments and it is evaluated on a case by case basis.” The NYPD said more protection has been placed in locations such as synagogues.

There have already been vicious attacks on Jews around or in the Brooklyn area: in November, an Orthodox Jew was attacked and beaten at a Brooklyn train station by three men. In December, an Israeli student, Levi Rosenblatt, 22, was stabbed by an assailant at the Chabad-Lubavitch in Crown Heights during prayer.