Security increased at local synagogues

ROANOKE, Va. – Leaders in some synagogues are taking extra precautions to make their congregation feel safe.

While some are coming together in unity, some Virginia Tech students, part of the Jewish community, wanted to make sure people know about those impacted in Israel.

“Nervous something could happen, glad police are with us,” Talia Rapaport, a Virginia Tech student said.

While the fighting is happening overseas, the effects are felt in Roanoke so much that leaders in some synagogues are taking extra measures to keep members safe.

“I’ve seen direct threats, people are seated so much at home they are watching so much TV and it brings out so many emotions in people,” Chris Ragone with Executive Security Concept said.

Ragone says he has increased security at some houses of worship like Beth Israel in Roanoke.

Normally, Ragone says there is one armed person during times of worship, now that has increased and in addition, Ragone may drive in unmarked cars to ensure some synagogues are safe.

He also teaches leaders in houses of worship special take-down tactics whether it’s self-defense or using a weapon in case there is a threat.

Ragone urges anyone to take steps to protect themselves.

“Learn how to defend yourself, whether that’s firearm class, martial arts class, or some type of self-defense training,” Ragone said.

Ragone says the best proactive approach in beating a threat is to be aware of your surroundings.

“Be in that awareness state at all times,” Ragone said.

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