‘We were well ahead of the planning stage’ if Monsey attacker came to Jersey City, chief says

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Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly said that his department was “well ahead of the planning stage” if the man charged with stabbing five Jewish people at a Rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York came to Jersey City on Saturday evening.

“When the Monsey attack happened, myself and [Public Safety] Director Shea were on the phone for hours because that threat certainly could’ve ended up in Jersey City. So we were well ahead of the planning stage,” Kelly said during a presser on crime statistics earlier today.

” … The communications with the identified Jewish neighborhoods: it’s very easy to figure out where the synagogues are, the schools, but it’s not as easy to figure out where the population of the Jewish neighborhoods are coming in because it changes quite rapidly right now.”

Kelly continued that needs such as a school bus that needed a police escort, a yeshiva that wanted an officer to stop by, or Jewish businesses that requested additional assistance have been accommodated in light of the anti-Semitic killings in the city on December 10th.

On Saturday, Grafton Thomas, 37, was charged with trying to kill five people with a machete inside a rabbi’s home during a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey, New York.

Thomas’ handwritten journals and online search history had shown anti-Semitic views, including searching the phrase “why did Hitler hate the Jews” on his cell phone, as The New York Times first reported.

Mayor Steven Fulop, who was outspoken in stating that the December 10th killings were a hate crime, indicated that the local police’s actions have been consistent with any bias incidents encountered in the city in recent years.

“It’s important to recognize that our actions have been exactly the same whether it’s the coptic community, whether it’s the Sikh community, whether it was the LGBT community, whether it’s been the Muslim community over the last four, five, six years we’ve dealt with issues around every single one of those communities feeling targeted – or potentially feeling targeted,” Fulop stated.

“We’ve always expanded coverage, visibility: it’s [been] the same. We’ve set up community meetings with leadership in the African American community and leadership in the Jewish community over the next week – we’re going to continue to build bridges between those communities and that’s going to be a dialogue that’s going to be kind of regular.”

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