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Law Enforcement Trains Religious Leaders On Handling Hate Crimes

Lori Mack/WNPR
FBI Special Agent in Charge Patricia Ferrick with religious leaders and law enforcement at Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel in New Haven

Representatives from religious, cultural, and civil rights organizations met with law enforcement in New Haven on Monday to discuss hate crimes. Members of 17 organizations participated in a training session where they viewed a film on what to do in the case of an active shooter scenario and how to respond to bomb threats.

Judy Alperin, chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, said the training is to better prepare them for the unimaginable.

"Unfortunately, the things that we never thought we would have to confront we are confronting," said Alperin. "We in the Jewish community and our friends in other faith communities also have had to come to terms with the fact that hate is on the rise in our communities."

FBI Special Agent in Charge Patricia Ferrick told reporters at Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel that more than 200 Jewish facilities in over 40 states, including Connecticut, were the targets of threatening phone calls -- typically bomb threats -- between January and March of this year. There were also over 100 threatening international calls.

Officials in Israel recently indicted Michael Kadar, an 18-year-old American-Israeli Jew in connection with a wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers. He has also been charged in federal court in Florida and Georgia.

Lori Connecticut Public's Morning Edition host.

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