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Leaders of the boroughs Jewish community sat down with Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and two police officers from the citys Crime Prevention Section to discuss security at their institutions last week.
The officers at the Feb. 6 meeting at Borough Hall explained how to handle an emergency situation, gave a basic outline of how to secure the institutions building, and answered each Jewish community leaders questions.
It is imperative to implement a security plan, said Sgt. Charles Famulari of the Crime Prevention Section. All of the citys schools have implemented some type of planning in case of an emergency. It mitigates a possible disaster and helps to deal with it.
He said conferring with the organizations was just a beginning. Famulari said the meeting provided an outline for them to follow a blueprint of how to start.
David Pollock, associate executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, said the event was planned to teach institutions to prepare for a crisis situation and not as the result of a particular incident.
He said his group started discussing holding an event to deal with an emergency after the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11.
The event was organized by Pollocks group as well as the Queens Jewish Community Council and the New York Police Department.
He said Jews are always concerned about protecting their institutions and are extra-vigilant about security.
Pollock said training people on security issues is a valuable exercise.
He said his organization has held similar events in Manhattan, Brooklyn and hopes to hold one in the Bronx.
The events co-sponsors were the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Flushing Jewish Community Council, Jackson Heights-Elmhurst Kehilla, Jewish Community Council of Kew Gardens and Richmond Hill, Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula and the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council.
The Jewish community was a great part of my victory and has a large presence in [Queens] said Marshall. One of our fears is the shrinking of the boroughs Jewish community that is why your needs will be met. You are a precious community.
Famulari said the plan for response to a crisis starts with forming a management team. The team determines whether there is a crisis, establishes a command center and notifies the necessary people. He said institutions should talk to other groups that have implemented security plans so they can put together the best possible program.
Having a plan already laid out in case of a fire, a terrorist attack or an emergency benefits the police and fire departments, he said, because the departments have contact people at each organization. The emergency team can help by providing a buildings layout, information and a list of people in the building.
Ways to secure a building, he said, are through the use of motion detectors, alarms and video cameras. Famulari pointed out that having a full-time security staffer in uniform, on site, can also work as a deterrent.
When many of the organizations leaders began to ask specific questions about the security of their specific institutions, Famulari said each was different and there is no quick fix. He said his office would need to examine each building to determine the best plan for the safety of each member.
In addition, he said, having a plan of action for treatment of members after a crisis is just as important. The emotional effects of a death or illness, Famulari said, can linger. Professional counselors need to be on the ready.
Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.
©2002 Community Newspaper Group
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