Wisconsin faith leaders working to better secure places of worship
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- As thousands of Wisconsin families head to churches and synagogues this holy weekend, Milwaukee area faith leaders are stepping up their efforts to make Wisconsin churches, synagogues, and mosques safer.
Brookfield Mosque increases security training following New Zealand shooting
For the Islamic Society of Milwaukee Brookfield (Masjid Al-Noor), security has always been a high priority. But following the New Zealand mosque shooting in March, they decided to take their readiness further. They worked with the Waukesha County Sheriff's Office to hold an active shooter training at the mosque.
"A lot of community members feel like we could be a target so we want to make sure that it's not something that will keep folks away from the mosque," Outreach Coordinator with the Islamic Society of Milwaukee Brookfield Bushra Zaibak said.
The mosque also has a Waukesha Sheriff's deputy and Brookfield police on site, in addition to their own security team.
"It really did bring everyone together in figuring out how we can move forward and worked together to make sure it's a comfortable place for everybody," Zaibak said.
Milwaukee Jewish community consistently has security and safety on their minds
The concern from the Jewish community is no different. Many felt worried following the Pittsburgh shooting.
"Seeing a synagogue being targeted makes people nervous," Director, Jewish Community Relations Council Milwaukee Jewish Federation Elana Kahn said.
The Jewish Community Relations Council has been working with law enforcement and Rabbis to better secure Milwaukee area synagogues.
"We are working constantly to make our buildings safer and continue to be open and inviting at the same time," Director of Security, Milwaukee Jewish Federation Ari Friedman said.
Local police chaplain working to make places of worship safer
Delafield Police Chaplain Janis Doleschal recently gathered Wisconsin church leaders to show them how to make an emergency response plan.
"If you can plan for things ahead of time. You have a much better chance to mitigate the situation or to get yourself out safely," Doleschal said.
Doleschal goes over how to better churches like adding cameras and locking doors during services.
"Locking the doors doesn’t mean you’re not a welcoming church because there are steps you can take to allow the people who are supposed to be there even if they’re late to come in," Doleschal said.
The chaplain not only works with not only churches but all places of worship across Wisconsin. She holds workshops and also goes on site to buildings to evaluate their security in-person. If you would like her to visit your place of worship, you can reach her at the Delafield Police Department.