Central Jersey cops stepping up patrols during Jewish high holy days

| September 10, 2010

EDISON — Area police departments said they are increasing patrols around local synagogues and other key spots during the Jewish High Holy Days this month.

In Edison, police have identified nine locations in the 100,000-resident township where there will be extra patrols during the holy days, Lt. Salvatore Filinnano said. The stepped-up effort also includes a police presence at Harrison Street and Opatut Court, near the Congregation Ohr Torah on Edgemount Road.

"These are going be directed patrols, which means there will be periodic checks," Filannino said, referring to the nine other locations.

The high holidays began with the start of Rosh Hashana at sundown Sept. 8. Yom Kippur begins at sundown Sept. 17.

A series of anti-Semitic acts of vandalism and attacks has alarmed local residents and spiritual leaders in recent years. In one incident last month, swastikas were found scratched into the sides of cars at Lexus of Edison on Route 1.

On Thursday, East Brunswick police officers were stationed at the East Brunswick Jewish Center on Ryders Lane. Police in North Brunswick, meanwhile, are also conducting directed, periodic patrols around the Congregation B'Nai Tikvah at Finnegan Lane near Route 1.

"We are doing something outside of what we normally do," North Brunswick police Lt. Roger Reinson said.

In Linden, police will be "increasing patrols and maintaining high visibility" around Anshe Chesed Synagogue on West St. Georges Avenue, Detective Lt. James Sarnicki said.

Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg, one of the area's more outspoken spiritual leaders, said he was "very satisfied" with the Edison police department's effort during the holidays.

"I've been thanking the police as I've seen them," said Rosenberg, leader of Congregation Beth-El in the township.

He said he hadn't seen any acts of harassment recently, but said police and residents should still be vigilant.

Last week, Middlesex County officials unveiled a program that will give $5,000 grants to police departments in the county to allow them to develop education and prevention programs to fight bias crimes.



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