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Authorities stress security at local places of worship |

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Authorities stress security at local places of worship

(KLAS) —
Protecting those in prayer — that was the goal of a gathering Thursday
involving religious leaders and police. Now, houses of worship here in the
valley are stepping up security to keep their congregations safe.

Rabbi Mendy Harlig is serious
about security. Following synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh and Poway, California,
he’s not taking any chances in his house of worship.

“I think that anything
that you can do is a good step to take,” said Rabbi Harlig. “It hits
home, because we’re also in a small city, and if it can happen there, it can
happen here.”

That’s why, among the
religious relics, there are several surveillance cameras and more security
guards on site.

Extra surveillance and extra
security are just some of the measures houses of worship can take to protect
their congregations. And local law enforcement say they’re here to help.

Metro police and the Department
of Homeland Security met with leaders of different religions Thursday to go
over best practices for protection. Police say it’s all about increasing

“To build those relationships,
so people feel comfortable, in sharing information that something may be going
on in their own house of worship,” said Metro Captain Jack Owen.

Leaders in attendance, like Rabbi
Harlig, are working on the next steps.

“The way to fight
darkness, the way to fight evil, is to add in light.”

The Department of Homeland Security
says there are also federal resources, such as grants, that are available to
help houses of worship increase security.