Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) brought the NYPD and NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to his office this morning to meet with a packed room of representatives from local mosdos with the goal of moving beyond the talking stage of counter terrorism. An information-packed seminar was given by Sgt. Stephen Iannone of the NYPD Counter Terrorism Division along with Ira Tannenbaum, Assistant Commissioner of OEM’s Public/Private Initiatives, meant to jump start actual anti-terrorism protocols for each individual yeshiva or shul interested in taking proactive measures.
“Great things are happening in our community with regard to being more aware of security needs,” said Hikind, who has remained in the forefront of calling for greater security for the community. “Today’s meeting was to take us beyond the talking stage and start moving towards action. People understand that our yeshivas and places of worship are genuine potential targets, G-d forbid. Now it’s time to put plans in place and to practice those plans.
“Professional firefighters are the best equipped to deal with a fire emergency but our schools also have fire drills to prepare faculty, staff and children in the event of a fire, G-d forbid. Similarly, we pray that our schools will be safe, and we rely upon law enforcement to protect our community, but preparedness in this instance is more than practical. We’re taking steps towards risk reduction and working with major institutions in our community because being prepared saves lives.”
Assemblyman Hikind thanked Sgt. Iannone and Assistant Commissioner Tannenbaum for their presentations and recognized Natan Mandelbaum, the NYC OEM’s Deputy Director of Training, who was also on hand to answer questions.