OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Police departments across the Kansas City metro are adding patrols at places of worship.
Overland Park and Prairie Village are a couple of departments that said officers will drive by synagogues, mosques and churches to make people feel safe.
Federal and local law enforcement want everyone to stay vigilant.
The extra security is on top of security measures already present at places like the Jewish Community Center Campus.
“Hamas has declared today a day of rage,” Jewish Community Relations Bureau American Jewish Committee Executive Director Gavriela Geller said.
She said in tragedy, it’s sad her community’s focus has been forced to shift from mourning and supporting friends and family in Israel to now considering their own security.
“We are not cowering in this moment,” Geller said. “We are not deciding to not go to synagogue tonight. We are not deciding to avoid Jewish place and our Jewish community,,, but we will be doing so with the security that is necessary and the support of our local police department.”
Geller said they’ve heightened security.
“If you see something, say something,” Director of the KBI Tony Mattivi said.
Mattivi said he understands the concern, as he says a former leader of Hamas called for an international day of rage.
He wants Kansans and the community to know a team is monitoring the situation around the clock.
“We are aggressively monitoring all of the information sources available to us about this, in particular the homeland security information and intelligence sharing network,” Mattivi said. ‘We have analysts monitoring that 24/7. Thankfully we are seeing no indications of any sort of credible threat inside Kansas,” Mattivi said.
Mattivi said dedicated KBI intelligence analysts are working around the clock and are in communication with communities.
Ofc. John Lacy with the Overland Park Police Department said they will have extra patrols at places of worship across the city.
“Be aware of your surroundings but don’t be afraid,” Lacy said.
“So, officers are just going, eating their lunch, things of that sort, maybe if they have to make a phone call, they’re instructed to go in those lots” Lacy said, “and also, as they’re going to and from a call for service, non-emergency, they’ll just sweep through those lots making sure everything’s okay and just keep going.”
Police in Prairie Village said they have extra patrols in places of worship.
Kansas City, Missouri told FOX4:
“We closely monitor any threats or potential threats that could be targeting members of our community. If we receive any information that there is a potential for violence towards a certain person, place, or thing, KCPD will implement extra patrol and security to ensure the safety of all of our community members.”
“We do have officers actively patrolling all areas of the city and will continue to very closely monitor any potential threats of violence. KCPD will respond accordingly to those threats and ensure we do everything we can to keep our community safe.”
“At this time, we have no evidence of any credible threats of violence to the surrounding Kansas City Metropolitan area. The appropriate courses of action will be taken should that change.”
In 2014, a gunman killed three people at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park.
The shooter said he testified he was looking to kill Jews. Lacy said since then, they’ve never let their guard down.
“We want everyone to feel comfortable. If they’re going into places of worship, or if they’re going to have events” Lacy said. “We want them to feel comfortable, even though it’s very trying times.
Mattivi wants the public to know that KBI understands they understand the concern, but said it’s important people know they’re not seeing a reason for Kansans to deviate from normal day to day life.
He said they’re keeping a close eye on more than three dozen locations and they’re seeing no credible threats in Kansas.
“We participated in a couple of nationwide threat calls here within the last 24-36 hours,” Mattivi said, “and that’s pretty consistent with what all of our partners both our state partners all around the country and what our federal partners are saying, we’re all monitoring closely, but fortunately not any credible threats.”
Authorities want people to stay vigilant. If you see something suspicious, call your local police department.