Local synagogues advised to update security after Pittsburgh shooting

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Synagogues in the Chicago area are being advised to update their security measures as a result of Saturday's deadly shootings in Pittsburgh.

The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish nonprofit, is advising synagogues to follow 11 "action steps" toward increased security. 

“I think synagogues, in our region, and across the country, need to take a real focused look at their security procedures,”said Jessica Gall from the Anti-Defamation League.   

Recommendations include everything from restricting access to just one entrance to reviewing the FBI's guide on bomb threats. There are no specific recommendations regarding armed guards and metal detectors. 

“When it comes to things like arming, when it comes to things like metal detectors, you know, these are places of welcome and worship. They want to be an open place for people of community to come and feel safe and welcome,” Gall said.

One rabbi declined to discuss security measures because he felt the focus now should be on reducing hate, and working toward peaceful relationships.

Arnette Heintze, CEO of Hillard Heintze, an international security risk management firm, said each place of worship will have to handle security concerns differently.

“I think each individual organization has to make a decision based on their culture, their people, their beliefs, their past experience with individuals who may have threatened them in the past,” Heintze said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel also weighed in on the issue Monday.

“I don’t think what a place of worship needs is armed guards because people are armed with the most important thing, their belief in God and their belief in America,” Emanuel said.