NEWARK, NJ - The Essex County Sheriff's Office has responded to Saturday morning's mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue by implementing stronger security measures and urging more vigilance at local temples and other places of worship.
"Sheriff Armando ordered that the officers of his department has increased vigilance at and around all Essex County synagogues and other houses of worship," the sheriff's office said in a statement released Saturday afternoon.
“This act of senseless violence has prompted us to increase these patrol operations,” Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated. “Additionally, our Bomb Squad and K-9 Unit are on full stand-by should their assistance be needed.”
On Sept, 16, an improvised explosive device was placed at B’nai Abraham Cemetery in Newark during the Jewish High Holy Days. That investigation is on-going.
“In addition to our condolences to the Pittsburgh victims and their families, we want all residents of Essex County to feel safe and secure as they attend the religious services of their choice,” Fontoura said. “Our efforts mirror those of the NYPD which also implemented increased their awareness at religious sites today. We urge our residents to contact us if they see something that appears to be suspicious. The telephone number of our Communications and Command Center is 973-621-4111."
Early Saturday, a shooter opened fire at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing at least eight.