Law enforcement hosting forum on hate crime against houses of worship Thursday night

Speakers will include the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois, FBI, Illinois Attorney General’s Office, FEMA and Peoria interfaith leaders
Peoria(25 News Now)
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 3:20 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - Multiple levels of law enforcement agencies are coming to Peoria to host an information session for faith-based leaders and community members on how to prevent and respond to hate crimes against places of worship.

According to the release from the DOJ’s Community Relations Service, the topics will include an overview of religious hate crimes and laws, an overview of active shooter training and situations and best practices for the prevention of and response to hate crimes against places of worship.

Interfaith leaders in Peoria will also be in attendance - Jewish Federation of Peoria executive director Susan Katz says it’s important they stay vigilant.

“In the Jewish community in particular, we’ve experienced a disproportionate number of hate crimes directed at our community and we know there’s other victims out there as well,” she said. “It’s important the community be aware. It’s important they be vigilant. And that they know what to do in case of an attack on their place of worship.”

Katz tells 25 News the Jewish Federation of Peoria has been working for years to address this topic.

And tonight’s discussion is to bring awareness of what to do in case of an attack and to provide law enforcement resources and information to the religious community here.

They are hoping this event can bring everyone together to educate.

“In the Jewish community, we’ve been doing a lot of education on security for many many years so some of this is not new to us,” she said. “We hope to gain some additional information and we hope the community as a whole becomes more aware of what can happen when hate is allowed to foster and grow.”

The forum begins at 6 p.m. at the Gateway Building in Peoria.

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