JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Metropolis of Jacksonville hosted the primary of two informational periods for religion leaders and their communities on Monday night time.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Workplace, together with the FBI, and the Division of Homeland Safety have been there to supply data on non secular hate crimes and legal guidelines and easy methods to take care of these hate crimes once they occur.
Sadly, religion leaders from each faith are coping with threats of some magnitude. However the FBI and the Division of Homeland Safety need non secular organizations to know there are sources they will faucet into.
It’s a dialog that’s essential to make sure the protection of worshippers within the metropolis of Jacksonville. Religion leaders and residents attended Monday night time’s Defending Locations of Worship session to find out about non secular hate crimes and the way they are often prevented. Amanda Videll, spokesperson for FBI Jacksonville, mentioned statistics present that hate crimes have been on the rise for about 5 years. However their concern is the hate crimes they don’t find out about.
“Simply understanding the regulation, understanding your rights, trusting the regulation enforcement course of, coming ahead with data when you could have it. That’s the reason we’re having these vital conversations in order that the neighborhood is aware of they will come to us and we are going to assist them once they discover themselves in these unlucky conditions,” Videll mentioned.
Videll mentioned it’s vital to know the distinction between hate speech and hate crimes.
“Hate speech, regardless of how abhorrent it’s, continues to be your proper to free speech so we’re going to uphold that best for you, however figuring out when one thing turns into a menace, recognizing when one thing turns into a possible menace after which reporting it, that’s what’s actually vital right here,” she mentioned.
Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan mentioned town determined to host these periods after the racially motivated taking pictures that occurred at a Greenback Normal retailer a month and a half in the past. She shared what else town is doing to ensure folks really feel protected of their communities.
“We’ve lengthy labored with our pastors and our rabbis and our people in Jacksonville which can be chargeable for our locations of worship to attempt to make them really feel snug. I do know the sheriff’s workplace has as effectively. We partnered with a lot of completely different organizations right here as we speak so that is simply an ongoing effort for us,” Deegan mentioned.
John Newman, Senior Pastor for the Sanctuary at Mount Calvary Church, shared why it’s vital to ensure folks really feel protected once they worship.
“The best way terror works is whenever you get terrorized you alter your life-style, you alter what you comfortably do as a result of now you’re not snug anymore for concern of your life. It’s vital that we mitigate these issues and take each doable precaution to ensure folks can proceed what they’re ordinarily doing and worship is part of that continuance,” Newman mentioned.
There’s one other presentation on Tuesday at 9 a.m. on the principal library downtown. Town asks for folks to RSVP in the event that they plan on attending the assembly.
The periods will embrace:
Overview of non secular hate crimes and legal guidelines
Instruments and sources from federal and native regulation enforcement to evaluate the protection of locations of worship
Overview of lively shooter coaching and conditions
Greatest practices for the prevention of and response to hate crimes in opposition to locations of worship
Details about federal grants obtainable to fund safety wants at your home of worship
You’ll be able to register to attend this occasion at www.coj.net/ppow.
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