06 December 2019
Over the past week, there have been several unrelated incidents of concern in our community – a noncredible threat at a JCC, anti-Semitic graffiti at a synagogue, and a suspicious person trying to access a synagogue. We are monitoring these situations closely in partnership with those institutions and with local and Federal law enforcement. While these situations are troubling, there is no indication that they are related, nor is there any indication of a specific threat to our community.
These incidents serve as a reminder to maintain a guarded safety and security posture. Please continue to be vigilant and report suspicious activities to law enforcement and the Regional Security Advisor (SCN) Team. It is also a good time to review your personal and organizational safety, security, and emergency plans. Training is a very effective, no-cost measure to improve community security. The SCN team is available to provide training to community synagogues and institutions on various security topics including security awareness, active threat response, and training for Greeters/Ushers.
If your organization has not already done so, please register for SCN Alert to receive security threat alerts and information by email or text. You may register here.
To ensure we can continue to best support and secure the community, we recently welcomed Chris Usher to the SCN team as Deputy Regional Security Advisor. Chris brings with him over 20 years’ security experience in the military, US State Department, and the corporate world. Chris is a US Marine Corps veteran, having served with US Marine Guard Forces at US Embassies in Germany and Myanmar. As a Special Agent with the US State Department Diplomatic Security Service, Chris served in Libya and on the protection team for the Secretary of State, coordinating and providing security for the Secretary in over 35 countries. In his new role, Chris will initially focus on enhancing the security posture of the Jewish community campus in Rockville, MD.
Regional Security Advisor for the National Capital Region
Federation’s safety and security partner, Secure Community Network (SCN), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, is the official homeland security and safety initiative of the organized Jewish community in North America. Founded in 2004, under the auspices of The Jewish Federations of North American and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, SCN serves as the central organization dedicated exclusively to the safety and security of the American Jewish Community, working across 146 federations, 50 partner organizations, over 300 independent communities as well as with other partners in the public, private, non-profit and academic sectors. SCN is dedicated to ensuring that Jewish organizations, communities, as well as life and culture can not only exist safely and securely, but flourish.