On Wednesday, August 4th the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut convened and hosted a security briefing for all of the Jewish institutions in our Federation catchment area on Wednesday, August 4. The briefing was provided by Patrick Daly and Bradley Orsini, two senior-level professionals from Secure Community Network. SCN is the official homeland security and safety initiative of the organized Jewish community in North America. The purpose of the briefing was to provide Jewish professionals and lay leaders with institutional security obligations to get to know SCN, to provide some guidance for High Holiday and school openings, and to give the group insight into a new security initiative that the Federation will be undertaking shortly.
We are pleased to report that the briefing was attended by 27 community members and that nine synagogues and schools had representatives in attendance. We are thankful that the people in charge of Jewish institutional security took the time to come together so that we can continually work on upgrading the safety and security of the Jewish institutions and the people they serve in Western and Northwestern Connecticut.
Just as importantly, the briefing was attended by other community leaders who wanted to show support for the Jewish community, including Southbury First Selectman, Jeff Manville, and five law enforcement professionals. James C. Rovella, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, addressed the group on the variety of ways his Department and the State are working to enhance security. In addition, he discussed his law enforcement mission to Israel during his tenure as Hartford Police Chief.
Also in attendance were the Commissioner’s Chief of Staff Sgt. Kazimera Morse, Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo, Newtown Police Chief James Viadero, and Corporal Christopher Grillo of the Southbury Police Department. Every law enforcement professional who attended the briefing had to change his or her schedule to do so. We are honored that the people who protect us all understand the special challenges facing the Jewish community and are concerned about our well-being. These dedicated professionals demonstrate that concern not only by attending this important briefing but also by how they do their jobs each and every day. We are very grateful. Your Federation is pleased to be in a position to take a lead role in supporting the safety and security of each and every Jewish institution in our catchment area. We expect to provide additional information on these efforts very shortly.