‘Expect the unexpected:’ Reverend offers safety advice at Pace security conferencePosted: Updated:
A safety and security conference was held at Pace University, bringing together faith leaders and members of law enforcement, including the FBI, Homeland Security, and state and local officers.
The Rev. Anthony Thompson was the keynote speaker at the event.
Thompson’s wife was one of nine people gunned down at church bible study in South Carolina by a 21-year-old white supremacist in 2015. His message Thursday was to all faith-based institutions: in these times, in which we live, expect the unexpected.
“How do you react, how you do prepare if someone is coming into your church and home,” said Thompson. “Unfortunately, some people think it could not happen. That is the biggest hurdle.”
The conference comes on the heels of a rise in hate in the Hudson Valley. This week, a man wearing a yarmulke with a swastika pinned to it was spotted in two dining establishments.
In recent days, swastikas were drawn in Pelham Middle School in Pleasantville High School. Anti-Semitic graffiti and a hateful poster were found last week in the Holocaust Garden of Remembrance in White Plains.
Law enforcement leaders say taking safety precautions as soon as possible is mandatory.