The Morris County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies in Morris County have been building bridges with the Chabad community, a dynamic movement and force within the Jewish community.
With 14 of 59 Chabad Centers currently situated in New Jersey based in Morris County, Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, Sheriff’s Office Detective Lieutenant Denise Thornton, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and 17 Morris County police chiefs or department representatives met earlier this summer with Chabad leaders to develop a dialogue and hear concerns that include violence against religious institutions.
The session brought together the religious leaders, Rabbi Moshe Herson of the Rabbinical College of America, and Morris County law enforcement leaders, including Morris County Chiefs of Police Association President, Butler Police Chief Ciro Cimento.
Sheriff Gannon reiterated his policy, in cooperation with municipal police departments, of conducting direct patrols and taking extra security measures around all 317 houses of worship in Morris County.
Chabad centers serve the local communities by providing educational, religious and social services that are open to all community members. No background or particular affiliations are needed and no membership is required.
Chabad centers offer Jewish holiday programs, adult education, hospital visitation, senior citizen visitation, senior citizen programs, food for the needy, study groups and tutoring, counseling services and crisis intervention, Bar and Bat Mitzvah training, a Women’s Circle, Shabbat and holiday services, among other activities.
There are nearly 4,000 Chabad Centers around the world today.
During this summer’s meeting with Chabad leaders, they were informed that Patrick Owens, Director of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Critical Infrastructure Unit, can provide guidance on insuring the safety of worshippers.
“The ability to assemble and worship in peace is one of our nation’s enduring rights. The Morris County Sheriff’s Office wants the Chabad community and members of all faiths to know that we are committed to keeping them safe so they can worship without hesitation or fear,” Sheriff Gannon said.
The summer meeting led to the establishment of direct dialogues between Chabad leaders and Morris County police chiefs, and plans were made to gather again in the fall of 2019.