Conference convened to connect faith communities with security experts in wake of violence

Ohio

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman convened a conference for faith-based community leaders to hear from security experts in the wake of recent attacks

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Those who attend churches, mosques or synagogues may soon notice more security.

​With attacks on houses of worship in recent years, more communities are taking steps, including armed security, to protect their congregations.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine sees the need for the protection.

“There are people who live among us that, for whatever reason, hate other people, and they hate certain religions,” said DeWine.​

That concerns the governor, other state and federal leaders, faith-based community leaders and many in the general public.

“Every center has had to obviously step up patrols, stepped up armed security on premises, which is something a little bit new for our mosque. I know that’s something that has been in place a lot in our synagogues here locally,” said Nicol Ghazi, the director of Muslim Family Services of Ohio.

“We’re never going back to pre-September 11 at the airport. We’re never going back to pre-Columbine in our schools, and we’re on this posture now forever,” said Howie Beigelman, the executive director of Ohio Jewish Communities.​

To help pay for these solutions and to make sure the best solutions are being used, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman convened a conference for faith-based community leaders to hear from security experts.​

They also learned about federal and state programs and grants that could help them pay for some of the protections they are using to keep their congregations safe.​

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