Police on Long Island are beefing up patrols around temples, synagogues, churches and other houses of worship after a reputed white supremacist allegedly murdered three people at two Jewish centers in Kansas over the weekend.
Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, of Missouri, was arrested on a preliminary first-degree murder charge for fatally shooting a 69-year-old man and his 14-year-old grandson outside a Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan. and then gunning down a woman at Village Shalom, a nearby Jewish retirement home, The Associated Press reported.
The shootings occurred on the eve of Passover—one of the Jewish high holidays—which starts at sundown Monday.
“Our officers are on heightened awareness and there will be increased patrols with both marked and unmarked units during the holidays,” Suffolk police said in a statement.
Nassau’s added patrols come on top of previously announced special patrols that were slated for Passover, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
“In light of the circumstances,” Acting Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said in a statement referring to the shootings, the department “increased the already established intensified patrols at religious places of worship for the Passover and Easter holidays.”
He added: “There is no known threat to any religious institution in Nassau County at this time.”
Officials urged members of the public to remain vigilant and call 911 to report any suspicious activity, such as an unattended package, bag or box left at or outside of a church, temple, train station, house of worship, synagogue, mall or high-traffic area.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a nonprofit that monitors hate groups, published an in-depth profile of the Kansas shooting suspect, a former Klu Klux Klan leader who served prison time for plotting to assassinate the SPLC’s founder.
Karen Aroesty, the St. Louis regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, a group that advocates against anti-Semitism, called the shootings “deeply troubling.”