Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Safeguarding our Religious Institutions

In lieu of the recent events over the weekend in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and Joplin, Missouri, I’ve issued a directive to the members of the Overland Park Police Department to increase our patrol presence at our centers of worship in order to protect the citizens of this City.

The tragedies that took place in those cities are a reminder to everyone that the protection of our freedoms of religion, our right to free speech, our right to freedom of association, are some of our most traditional and cherished freedoms requiring both our attention, sensitivity, and sometimes our defense.

Yesterday I met with leaders from the affected religious communities to discuss with them ways to make sure we’re doing everything we can do to provide for their safety.

Although the recent attacks were on a Sikh Temple and a Muslim Mosque, I’ve also requested that all religious institutions throughout the City limits of Overland Park receive additional patrol and attention.

While I’ve asked the members of the police department to take extra measures to safeguard our religious establishments, I’m also asking members of the general public to be cognizant of suspicious persons or activities that they may be witness to. There’s a phrase that states “if you see something - say something” that I believe is a good reminder for all of us.

Together with everyone’s help and cooperation, we can continue to ensure Overland Park is still one of the safest cities to live in.