Northwestern, Evanston police increase patrol near Jewish institutions


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

Northwestern Hillel has asked for additional patrols after a gunman opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue over the weekend.

Alan Perez, Campus Editor

Local police are stepping up safety patrols around the city’s Jewish institutions after a gunman shouting anti-Semitic slurs opened fire in a synagogue last weekend, rattling the nation’s Jewish community.

The Evanston Police Department said in a Twitter post Thursday that officers are conducting “high visibility” patrols of the city’s synagogues, including the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Sephardic Congregation and Northwestern Chabad House.

“Security of institutions like that are always a concern, and there’s a concern from the public that they too will fall victim to something that will be similar,” Evanston police Cmdr. Ryan Glew told The Daily.

Northwestern Hillel has also asked for additional protection.

In response to the killing of 11 people at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, Hillel said on Saturday that it has “deep concern” for security amid a rise of anti-Semitism and a “broader worry for all individuals and communities targeted by hate and fear.”

“Northwestern University Police swiftly enacted a visible presence at Hillel events, including the Candlelight Vigil, and increased patrols,” University spokesman Bob Rowley said in an email to The Daily.

Michael Simon, the Hillel executive director, said EPD and University Police have been “tremendously supportive.”

Hillel also hosted a prayer vigil at The Rock on Monday after Evanston’s Beth Emet The Free Synagogue hosted its own prayer vigil Sunday.

Robert Bowers, the accused gunman, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to 44 counts of murder, obstructing religious practice and other crimes.

Cameron Cook contributed reporting.

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