The Cheltenham Township Police Department announced earlier this afternoon that the law enforcement agency has increased patrols around religious institutions, especially synagogues, throughout the township. The increase in patrols locally is because of the murders that took place at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh this morning.
“The safety of congregants and parishioners attending religious services, and all others visitors to our Township, is always our highest priority,” the Cheltenham Township Police Department stated in a Facebook post. “Everyone is encouraged to immediately report suspicious persons and activity to police via 9-1-1.”
“Our hearts break for the families of those killed and injured at the Tree of Life Synagogue, and for the entire Jewish community of Pittsburgh,” stated Mr. Jonathan Greenblatt, Chief Executive Officer of the Anti-Defamation League. “We believe this is the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States. We are actively engaged with law enforcement to support their investigation and call on authorities to investigate this as a hate crime.”
“It is simply unconscionable for Jews to be targeted during worship on a Sabbath morning, and unthinkable that it would happen in the United States of America in this day and age,” Mr. Greenblatt continued. “Unfortunately, this violence occurs at time when the Anti-Defamation League has reported a historic increase in both anti-Semitic incidents and anti-Semitic online harassment. As we mourn those lost and search for answers, the Anti-Defamation League will remain steadfast in its mission to fight anti-Semitism wherever and whenever it may occur.”
The image of the badge of the Cheltenham Township Police Department is courtesy of the Department, 2018.